In January 2016, a well was documented in the Cinema City complex at Gelilot (map ref. 181903/672798; Fig. 1), prior to the construction of a shopping mall and a commercial center by BIG Shopping Centers Ltd. The inspection, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was carried by V. Shustin and D. Golan (documentation and field photography), with the assistance of N. Zak (drafting), A. Dagot (GPS), Architect G. Gordon, R. Hedvati (The Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel), E. Ayalon, Y. Arbel and L. Rauchberger (consultation).
The lower part of the well (diam. 3.5 m, depth 30 m; Figs. 3, 4) is hewn into the bedrock, and the upper part is built of four courses of dressed and finely smoothed kurkar stones. A steel beam set in the upper part of the well was fixed to the structure above the well with cast concrete. Two meters below the well mouth, two additional steel beams were set at a distance of 0.75 m from each other (Fig. 5). The steel beams supported parts of the well—a toothed wheel, the transmission, three round iron pump rods and bearings—that were not preserved.
A map from the British Mandate peirod (Fig. 1) shows two small buildings with a citrus grove to their east; one of the buildings is probably the well house, and the other may have served the workers in the citrus grove.
The well was one of several in the village. It was obviously used during the British Mandate period, but we do not know when it was built. Most wells of this kind had a pumping system consisting of an engine, a drive wheel, a gear, iron pump rods (stangas) and bearings, as did this well. The use of pump engines and steel beams began in the late nineteenth century CE (Kark 1998:534), but in a small village like el-Jelil they were probably introduced when the citrus groves were enlarged during the British Mandate period.
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