Stratum V (Byzantine period; fifth–sixth centuries CE). Remains of a pool (L32; Figs. 3, 4) paved with a white mosaic (tesserae size 2.5 × 3.0 cm) were exposed. It was hewn in a limestone surface descending to the north. Only the western and southern hewn walls were preserved (length 3 m and 1 m, respectively). A wall (W21) built of large nari stones was constructed atop the western hewn wall. Wall 21 delimited the eastern edge of a stone floor (L22). The excavation ended before the remains beneath the pool’s mosaic floor could be probed. The pool should probably be dated to the Byzantine period on the basis of the white mosaic floor made of large tesserae.


Stratum IV (Early Islamic period; seventh–eighth centuries CE). A pit (L33; diam. 1.7 m, exposed depth c. 1.5 m; Fig. 5) hewn in the limestone rock was partially unearthed; its floor was not reached. Its northern part severed the southwestern corner of Pool 32 and W21 of Stratum V. An arch of nari ashlars (W35) was built inside the pit; it rested against the bedrock walls of the pit and supported the pit’s ceiling. The pit was evidently used for subterranean storage for a building constructed above it that was subsequently completely destroyed; collapsed stones (L26) were all that remained of the structure. Fragments of pottery vessels dating to the Early Islamic period (seventh–eighth centuries CE) were discovered inside the pit, including a cup decorated with brush strokes of brown paint (Fig. 6:3), a cooking pot (Fig. 6:4), a cooking-pot lid (Fig. 6:5) and jars with tall rims (Fig. 6:6–9). Also recovered from the pit were fragments of glass vessels dating to the Umayyad period (Gorin-Rosen, below). In the stone collapse that remained of the building above the pit were fragments of green and yellow splash-glazed bowls (Fig. 6:1–2) similar to Type 223d bowls at Caesarea (Arnon 2008:35, 115) that date to the seventh–eighth centuries CE.


Stratum III (Crusader period; twelfth–thirteenth centuries CE). A large pit (L23, L24, L34; Figs. 2: Section 1–1; 7), in which debris had been discarded, severed the floor of Pool 32 (Stratum V) and extended beneath it; the western wall of the pool and Pit 33 were not damaged when the refuse pit was dug. The debris in the pit included medium and large fieldstones, which were probably discarded from the top of the hill and piled inside the pit on an incline, soil accumulations, fragments of pottery and glass vessels and lumps of industrial glass debris (Gorin-Rosen, below) that date from the Iron Age, Roman, Byzantine and Early Islamic periods. A controlled excavation in a probe in L23 yielded fragments of pottery vessels, the latest of which date from the twelfth–thirteenth centuries CE. These included glazed bowls imported from the Aegean Sea (Fig. 6:10–12), a glazed bowl (Fig. 6:13), a glazed bowl with a ledge handle and carinated wall (Fig. 6:14) and cooking pots (Fig. 6:15). Numerous fragments of hand-made pottery vessels painted in red-brown were also discovered in L23. These included a small bowl (Fig. 6:16), a bowl with a ledge handle (Fig. 6:17), a krater (Fig. 6:18), a conical neck belonging to a jug (Fig. 6:19) and a juglet (Fig. 6:20). These vessels first appeared in the late twelfth century, and were common in the Mamluk period (Avissar and Stern 2005:113, Fig. 47, Pl. XXXI:1, 2). Although no architectural remains were discovered in the excavation area, the ceramic finds indicate that the refuse discarded in the pit was brought there from the close vicinity, where a settlement existed.


Stratum II (Mamluk period). A building was erected after the surface was leveled. The building’s remains comprise three parallel walls (W6, W20, W29; Fig. 8). The wall foundations were sunk into the earlier strata, and their foundation trenches were evident in those layers (see Fig. 7). The walls were built of medium and large building stones, with small fieldstones in between. Wall 20, of which only the northern face was exposed, was founded on the limestone bedrock, and survived to a height of two courses; its western end was not preserved. The eastern part of W6, which penetrated to a considerable depth, was built above the mosaic floor of Pool 32 (Stratum V), and its western part—above W21 of the pool and the collapsed stones (L26; Stratum IV; see Fig. 8); the wall was preserved three courses high. Wall 29 also penetrated to a great depth into the soil fill of Storage Pit 33 (Stratum IV). The three walls were constructed in a similar manner; thus it seems they were part of the same building. A stone floor (L16; Fig. 9) abuts the northern face of W6. A channel (L17; width 0.45 m) installed in the floor was situated c. 1 m from the wall and ran parallel to it.

Fragments of pottery vessels from the Mamluk period were discovered in the excavation of the stratum. These included green-, yellow- and brown-glazed monochrome bowls (Fig. 10:1, 2); brown- and green-glazed bowls decorated with incising (Fig. 10:3, 4); a green-glazed bowl decorated with incising (Fig. 10:5); a brown-glazed bowl decorated with a painted slip (Fig. 10:6); a red-painted jug (Fig. 10:14); and jugs (Fig. 10:15–17). Numerous fragments of hand-made pottery vessels decorated with reddish-brown geometric patterns were also found. These included flat-based bowls (Fig. 10:7, 8), ring-base bowls (Fig. 10:9, 10), a krater (Fig. 10:11), an amphoriskos (Fig. 10:12) and an amphoriskos handle (Fig. 10:13).

Stratum I (Ottoman period). A new structure was built on the remains of the Mamluk building. Its remains comprise a wall (W4; Fig. 11) with an opening (width c. 1 m) in its center; a tamped-earth floor of a room (L3; Fig. 2: Section 1–1) to the north of W4; and an open, stone-paved area (L7) to the south of W4. The tamped-earth floor extended as far as W6, suggesting that either a new wall was built in place of W6, or W6 itself continued to be used during this period. Two fragments of tobacco pipes from the Ottoman period (eighteenth century CE; Fig. 10:18) and an imported, Kutahya-ware cup from Turkey (Fig. 10:19: Vroom 2005:168–169, Fig. 14.3) were discovered on the stone pavement.

Yael Gorin-Rosen

Thirty-six fragments of glass vessels were discovered in the excavation, of which twenty-six were identified and dated to the Late Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad and Abbasid periods (Fig. 12:1–4). In addition, a multicolored glass bracelet (Fig. 12:5) and a glazed clay bead (Fig. 12:6), both from the Mamluk period, were found. The glass artifacts are important primarily because they include remains of industrial glass debris (Fig. 13), indicating that a glass industry existed in the immediate vicinity.

The glassware includes plain vessels that are well-known and common alongside vessels decorated with a variety of techniques. Glass assemblages from the Early Islamic period are known from excavations in cities such as Tiberias, Bet Sheʽan, Hammat Gader, Caesarea and Ramla, but are not as widely known from rural regions in the Galilee. The glass vessels from this excavation are an example of an Early Islamic assemblage that comes from a rural settlement in the Lower Galilee. Recently an assemblage of glass vessels was published from the excavation at Iksal (
Alexandre 2011), which is also a rural settlement in the Galilee.

Rim 1 (Fig. 12:1; L24) belongs to a jar with a slightly everted rim above an open fold. It is made of translucent glass covered with decay and black and brown weathering. Jars that have an open fold are very common in assemblages from the Late Roman period and Early Byzantine period. Another vessel dating to the same time span is a double-kohl bottle, of which only the bottom, non-decorated part was preserved (not drawn; L23). These two vessels were discovered in the refuse pit from Stratum III.

Base 2 (Fig. 12:2; L5) belongs to a small vessel with a hollow ring base that is relatively tall for its size. The glass is of a clean, light shade of greenish-bluish. The size of the base and the ratio of its diameter to its height differentiate it from the early ring bases; it should therefore be dated to either the end of the Byzantine period or the Umayyad period. This base fragment was discovered together with a lump of kiln waste (below) on the surface level above the floor of the Ottoman building.

Fragment 3 (Fig. 12:3; L33) belongs to spherical or barrel-shaped vessel and is adorned along its bottom part with a pinched decoration. A row of five pinch marks was preserved on the fragment, and above them is evidence of what appears to have been another row above the point where the vessel broke. The glass is a fairly clean, of a greenish-bluish shade and quite transparent. It seems that this fragment belonged to either a cup/bowl with an upright or slightly inverted and rounded rim and a cylindrical or barrel-shaped body, or a small bottle with a folded in and flattened rim, a short neck and spherical body. These two types of vessels, both of which have pinched decorations, are very characteristic of the Umayyad period. Vessels adorned in this manner were discovered in assemblages from the Umayyad period at Bet Sheʽan (Hadad 2005:21, Pl. 4:80, 81). Vessel 3 was discovered in the storage pit in Stratum IV that dates to the Early Islamic period (seventh–eighth centuries CE).

Fragment 4 (Fig. 12:4; L13) belonged to a bowl made of yellowish-brown glass. It is adorned with two strips etched with an intricate geometric pattern. A wide, bottom strip consists of a pattern of triangles containing smaller triangles. Empty triangles and triangles filled with vertical etchings are alternately arranged in a narrow, upper strip. The fragment belongs to a bowl with upright sides. Bowls decorated with this technique first appeared in the Umayyad period and were very popular in the Abbasid period. A large selection of bowls of this type was discovered at Bet Sheʽan in assemblages from the Umayyad and Abbasid periods (Hadad 2005:22–23, 37–38, Pls. 5:96, 97; 33:650, 652, 659).

Bracelet 5 (Fig. 12:5; L9) is a multi-colored bracelet dating to the Mamluk period. It is made of yellowish-brown, translucent glass and has a triangular cross-section. The bracelet is decorated with patches composed of two strips of orange glass and two yellow stripes in between separated by a green trail. An orange trail is affixed to the bracelet’s outer circumference.
Bead 6 (Fig. 12:6; L11) is made of translucent, blue-glazed ceramics. The glaze was decorated with uneven ribbing using a tool while rotating the bead. The depth of the ribbing’s vertical depressions and the distance between them indicate that this technique was employed rather than a mold which would have produced a uniform pattern. Bracelet 5 and Bead 6 were discovered in the upper level of the excavation, on either side of Wall 6, after dismantling a floor ascribed to the Ottoman period.


Industrial Glass Debris. The most important glass artifacts discovered in this excavation are remains of industrial glass debris (Fig. 13). Four of the nineteen baskets contained industrial glass debris. The remains are unambiguous and indicate the existence of a glass kiln that operated in the settlement during the Late Byzantine or Umayyad period.

The item in Fig. 13:1 is a large chunk (L23; maximum length 16 cm, height 11.5 cm) with a square cross-section resembling a brick or part of a wall. The chunk is a conglomerate of chalky material containing greenish-bluish glass. This item was discovered inside a refuse pit of Stratum III that was dug into the floor of Pool 32. The glassware discovered in this locus includes a bottom part of a double-kohl bottle (above) dating to the Late Roman period and Early Byzantine period and a body fragment of a mold-made vessel of yellowish glass dating to the Umayyad period (not drawn).

The item in Fig. 13:2 is much smaller (L5; max. length 3.6 cm) but is easily identified as coming from the bottom part of a kiln in which glass was melted. The glass at the top of the lump is clean, of fine quality and of a pale bluish shade, while the bottom part of the lump is debris that had settled during the melting process. This fragment was discovered together with Base 2, which dates to the Late Byzantine and Umayyad periods.

In addition, a small lump of greenish-bluish glass (L24; max. length 1.5 cm) was found together with Rim 1 which dates to the Roman and Early Byzantine periods, and another small lump was discovered together with a pendant (L19).

The glass artifacts from the excavation may indicate that raw glass was manufactured there, because the large chunk of debris is more typical of big melting furnaces than of kilns used for producing vessels, which are generally smaller and leave manufacturing waste of another kind. If an industrial building for producing raw glass, such as those discovered at Apollonia, Bet Ele‘azer and Bet She‘arim, did indeed exist at the site, then this is the most distant site from the coast and the Haifa Bay region where such an industry was discovered. Thus, the sand for the industry at the site was probably obtained nearby rather than brought from afar.


The mosaic-paved pool and the chunks of industrial glass debris, although unrelated to each other, probably indicate the existence of an industrial region at the site during the Byzantine period and the beginning of the Early Islamic period (fifth–sixth centuries CE). Later, in the Umayyad and Abbasid periods (seventh–eighth centuries CE), there was a building at the site that included a rock-hewn storage pit beneath it. This structure probably existed for a brief time and was dismantled, and only the storage pit survived. The area was abandoned, and a refuse pit was dug during the twelfth–thirteenth centuries. Buildings were constructed at the site during the Mamluk (thirteenth–fifteenth centuries CE) and Ottoman (nineteenth century CE) periods.