Since 2009, educational excavations have been conducted at Korazim (G-45/2014, G-38/2015, G-43/2016, G-25/2017; map ref. 25316/75743; Fig. 1). The 2014–2017 excavations, undertaken by the Hebrew Union College and Ariel University and funded by Ramat Korazim Elementary School, were directed by A. Kohn-Tavor and D. Ben-Yosef, with the assistance of G. Rosenberg (plans), staff from Ramat Korazim School, D. Ben Yosef, E. Koryat and R. Ashkenazi (directors of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority Northern District Educational Center), N. Herods (National Park Director) and National Park workers. Additional assistance was provided by Z. Zuk, I. Borodovitz and G. Cohen from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Students from Ramat Korazim Elementary School participated in three-day excavations each year. In 2009–2012, the excavation was conducted by I. Borodovitz, with the participation of fifth-grade students, teachers and parents. The program was initiated by the school principal, T. Porat, and approximately 60 people took part in it each year (Fig. 2).
The following is an estimated stratigraphic description of Building D:
, the foundation layer of the building, was constructed of large basalt stones and walls that have mostly withstood the ravages of time and stood in place throughout the building’s existence. The building is almost square in plan, and its outer walls enclosed a series of peripheral rooms: a single row of rooms on the east and west, and two rows of rooms on the north and south. The rooms probably surrounded an inner courtyard. Based on preliminary finds from the excavation and Yeivin’s description (Yeivin 2000
), Stratum III probably dates from the late third or early fourth century CE.
Stratum II represents the addition of well-built walls of medium-sized ashlars. Parts of the upper fills in the stratum were excavated to reveal sections of flooring (0.3–0.4 m below the tops of the walls). The structure ceased to be used in the ninth–tenth centuries CE. There may have been another layer between Strata III and II that was destroyed by the 749 CE earthquake; this remains to be clarified in the future.
Stratum I presents a different picture. Between large stone collapses, it is possible to make out the lines of carelessly built walls built of large stones. It is difficult to associate this stratum with dated fills, but it probably represents a hamlet from the Ottoman period.
The latest find in the excavation can be attributed to this stratum. It consists of a hoard of 22 perforated gold and silver coins and a medallion, which were found at the top of the Stratum I fills; most of the coins are stamped with the date AH 1223 (1844/5 CE; Fig. 5). The reason for the hoard’s concealment is unknown.
As noted above, the excavations are in the early stages of providing the needed information for understanding the architecture and date of the various building phases. Nevertheless, the chronological framework proposed by Yeivin should probably be extended to include a later stage in the Early Islamic period. Future exploration should attempt to clarify the nature and dates of Strata II and I.
Yeivin Z. 1993. Chorazin. NEAEHL
1. Pp. 301–304.
Yeivin Z. 2000. The Synagogue at Korazim: The 1962–1964, 1980–1987 Excavations (IAA Reports 10). Jerusalem (Hebrew; English summary, pp. 1*–31*, 51*–54*).