During the 1980s and 1990s development and emergency surveys were conducted within the Map of Tiberias. A systematic survey of the open areas on the map was performed in 1993 (License No. G-21/1993; Map 39). The survey, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by Y. Stepansky, with the assistance of A. Cohen (surveyor), A. Ephrat, Z. Nitzan, J. Sina, T. Amit (members of the eastern Galilee survey team), I. Vatkin and S. Zayyd (surveying), E. Damati (advice and assistance), M. Sharon of the Hebrew University (translation of the Early Arabic inscriptions), I. Carmi and D. Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science (14C ), H. Smithline (cleaning and photographing a section of the Berenice Aqueduct), Y. Rodman (pottery drawing) and A. Rochman-Halperin (archival assistance). P. Green of the Sea of Galilee Administration assisted in transporting the Arabic inscriptions from the waste-water purification plant to the state treasures.
A Lintel Decorated with a Cross. After a salvage excavation in 1981 prior to the construction of the Caesar Hotel, a stone lintel decorated with a cross and rosette pattern was discovered (Fig. 1). Originally, it was probably part of a Crusader (?) church that was located in the area; it was installed, in secondary use, as a stone threshold in a large building inhabited until the nineteenth or twentieth century CE.
Ancient Arabic Inscriptions. During the 1980s two fragments of tombstones, bearing Arabic inscriptions from the Early Islamic period, were discovered by chance at the waste-water purification plant (map ref. NIG 25110/74250; OIG 20110/24250):
1. Fragment of a marble slab (0.35 × 0.35 m; Fig. 2) with an engraved inscription from the eighth century CE (end of the Umayyad–beginning of the Abbasid period): ‘In the name of Allah the merciful and the compassionate. Allah has testified that there is no other god than him, and the angels and people that are knowledgeable; he is just, there is no god except for him, he is the wise power. Say: he is the one Allah, the everlasting Allah, he did not give birth and was not born and there is none other that will be like him. This is the grave of Ma‘amar ben …’.
2. Fragment of a white marble slab (0.33 × 0.60 m; Fig. 3) with an inscription carved in relief in magnificent Kufic script, dating to the eleventh century CE (the Fatimid period): ‘Everything is doomed to devastation and destruction and extinction and thus [all that is created] is enveloped (and covered) in vanity. This is the tomb of […? Ben Za?] ‘ad Ben El-Hasan. Died on the […] day [of the month of ?] second quarter …’.
Ancient Roads on the Lower Slopes of Tiberias. In the area west of Shikun (Housing Project) A in Tiberias, on the slope between Tiberias and Khirbet Nasr ed-Din (the Talmudic Bet Ma‘on?, HA–ESI 109:15*) an ancient road that ascended from Tiberias to Khirbet Nasr ed-Din was surveyed for a distance of 1 km. The road was built as a leveled terrace (average width c. 2 m) that gently rose up to the top of the mountain, supported by a retaining wall (height 0.5–1.0 m) in places and bounded by curbstones that were set along its edge toward the slope. This was probably not the Roman road mentioned in Talmudic sources that ascended from Tiberias via Bet Ma‘on to Zippori (Sepphoris) and ‘Akko (Acre), but rather, a later local route.
Along the edge of a steep slope, on the southern boundary of Khirbet Nasr ed-Din, a row of curbstones was visible for a distance of c. 200 m, perhaps marking the route of another road, aligned northeast–southwest. Near ‘Enot Huna, where the line of the road crossed the wadi channel (map ref. NIG 24978/74267; OIG 19978/24267) a segment of a massive retaining wall that was built of roughly hewn basalt stones, partially plastered and inclined in the direction of the slope (length 3 m, height 1 m, width c. 0.5 m; Fig. 4), had survived. It seems that this wall supported the road, although it might have been a retaining wall for an aqueduct. The route's continuation southward was not visible on surface. The relationship between this road and the road surveyed to its northeast (above) is not clear. It may be that a section of this road was connected to the route that ascended from Mount Berenice, south of the Tiberias–Khirbet Nasr ed-Din road.
Khirbet El Maghariba. A small ruin (c. 10 dunam) on a spur south of ‘En Ben Zoma (map ref. NIG 2501/7428; OIG 2001/2428), on the slope above Shikun A. The remains of two elongated buildings (3 × 20 m, preserved height of walls 0.5 m) and a plastered pool (2 × 2 m; Fig. 5) were surveyed; potsherds dating to the Middle Ages and the Ottoman period were collected.
The Berenice Aqueduct. The segments of the aqueduct within the Map of Tiberias were surveyed in 1993 by Z. Vinogardov. The aqueduct, which extended for a distance of c. 14 km, conveyed water from the springs of Nahal Yavne’el, north toward Tiberias. Its construction is ascribed to the Byzantine period and it was used during the Early Islamic period. The plastered aqueduct segments (Fig. 6) were preserved for a distance of 4 km and several plastered feeder pools were built alongside. Part of a massive wall (width 2.7 m, height 1.5 m) was preserved next to the Wadi Jardun channel (map ref. NIG 25265/74022; OIG 20265/24022). This was probably the foundation wall of a pier that supported a bridge on which the aqueduct passed. Other sections of the aqueduct were discovered in the wake of development work carried out in the Ganē Menorah tourist compound north and south of the Royal Plaza Hotel (map ref. NIG 2521/7410; OIG 2021/2410; Fig. 7). In the vicinity of Hamat Tiberias, west of the Holiday Inn Hotel (map ref. NIG 25150/74155; OIG 20150/24155, the aqueduct passed parallel and adjacent to a wall, preserved 1.5 m high, which was probably the western city wall of Hamat Tiberias, dating from the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods (Fig. 8). Further north, in ancient Tiberias of the first millennium CE, complete built sections of the aqueduct had survived for dozens of meters: in the region of the abandoned quarry (close to the theater that was most likely abandoned when the aqueduct was built) and at the foot of the Berenice cliffs, west of the waste-water purification plant. Another impressive remain was preserved inside the Muslim cemetery west of the municipal reservoir, referred to as the ‘Dona Gracia Pool’, on the border of the Jewish cemetery.
The Tiberias City Wall. Wood samples taken from near the eastern end of the foundations of the sea wall in Tiberias (approximate elevation 213 m below sea level; map ref. NIG 25158/74212; OIG 20158/24212) were sent to the Weizman Institute of Science for 14C dating. The analysis produced a calibrated date between the years 440–550 CE. Thus, the trees used in building the foundations of the city wall were cut down and used for construction during the Byzantine period (the second half of the fifth or in the first half of the sixth century CE). This conclusion corroborates Y. Hirschfeld proposal to date the construction of the wall to the time of Justinian I (527–565 CE; ESI 10:96). Earlier analyses conducted at the beginning of the 1990s on wood samples from the same site indicated a slightly younger age (the seventh century CE). The difference in the dating can be attributed to the antiquated instrumentation used to process the earlier samples or perhaps the wood for these samples was taken from a later renovation of the wall.