A section of a road (length c. 20 m, width 5.4 m; Figs. 2–4) was unearthed. It was bounded by walls (W802 on the east, W809 on the west) founded on a layer of brown tamped soil. Wall 809 consisted of two rows of roughly hewn stones and a core of tamped earth and fieldstones (Figs. 5–7). Wall 802 (Fig. 5) was constructed in a slightly different manner: its eastern face was built of large, roughly hewn fieldstones, whereas its inner, western face was constructed of medium-sized fieldstones; between them was a core of tamped earth and fieldstones. Between the two walls were layers of collapsed building stones (L818, L821) that originated from the walls, and layers of eroded soil with small–medium fieldstones (gravel; L825, L828); the gravel aided in draining the road during the rainy season. Bedrock was exposed in the western squares. Another layer of collapsed stones (L807) and a wall (W804; Fig. 6) were unearthed east of W802. Wall 804 was constructed in a different manner than the road’s curb walls: a row of medium-sized roughly hewn stones (0.3 × 0.4 m) founded on the bedrock. Like W802 and W809, the course of the wall conformed to the slope’s topography, suggesting that it was probably an agricultural terrace wall. A fill of brown alluvium mixed with fieldstones (L803), similar to that discovered throughout the excavation area, was excavated east of W804. When the road was no longer in use, the curb walls were adapted for use as agricultural terrace walls. The eastern face of W809 was reinforced with an additional wall (W829; Fig. 7): a single course of large, roughly hewn fieldstones (0.5 × 0.5 m) set parallel to the uppermost course of W809. This position evidently indicates that W826 is later than W809, and was built after the road ceased to be used.
The ceramic finds discovered in the excavation were meager and included only a few diagnostic items. Pottery sherds dating to the Iron Age (not drawn), the Hasmonean period, the Early Roman period and the Late Roman–Byzantine periods were found. Fig. 8 presents most of the diagnostic items—vessels that have parallels from Jerusalem: the Jewish Quarter, Areas W and X2, the Givʽati Parking Lot and Binyanē Ha-’Umma:
1. A lid for a cooking vessel or a lid-bowl with a curved wall that is somewhat vertical where it joins a rounded, slightly inverted rim. the outer wall is decorated below the rim with an incised line. A similar vessel was discovered in the excavations in the Jewish Quarter, where it was dated to the second–fourth centuries CE (Magness 2006
: 186, 191, Fig. 7.2: 4, Lid Bowls).
2. An arched rim basin (Form 1 according to Magness 1993
:204, Figs. 4–6) with a rounded everted rim, a gray core, orange slip and a conical and inverted wall. A parallel was found in the excavations in the Jewish Quarter, where it was dated to the second–fourth centuries CE (Magness 2006
:184–185, 190, Fig. 7.1:7).
3. A jar with a folded-out rim and a groove at the bottom of the fold; the core is dark, and the clay is orange. Parallels were found at Binyanē Ha-Umma (Berlin 2005
:30, Fig.1:9) and in the excavations at the Jewish Quarter (Type SJ1b), where it was dated to the second half of the second century and the beginning of the first century BCE (Geva 2003
:122, 159, Pl. 5.2:24).
4. A jar that has a folded-out rim with a groove below it and a short neck also with a groove below it; the clay is orange. A parallel was found in the excavations at the Givʽati Parking Lot (Sandhaus 2013
:105, Pl. 4.9:12) and in the excavations in the Jewish Quarter, where it was dated to the second half of the second century and the early first century BCE (Geva 2003
:123, 159, Fig. 5.2:3, Type SJ3a).
5. A jar with a thin folded rim and a groove at the bottom of the fold; the clay is of a light color, and its core is gray with white inclusions. A parallel found in the Givʽati Parking Lot was dated to the first century BCE and first century CE (Tchekhanovets 2013
:109, 143, Fig. 5.16:8, Type SJ2a). This is a sub-type of Jar SJ3a that was discovered in the excavations in the Jewish Quarter, where it was dated to the second half of the second century and the early first century BCE (Geva 2003
6. A table amphora with a square rim and short neck that are slightly everted; the vessel has a dark core, and is treated with a light colored slip. A parallel was found in the excavations in the Jewish Quarter, where it was dated to the first century BCE (Geva 2003
:118, Pl. 5.1:11).
7. A juglet with a square folded-out rim and a narrow cylindrical neck; the clay is orange. This juglet was common from the fourth century to the first century BCE (Geva 2003
:129). A parallel was found in the excavations in the Jewish Quarter (Geva 2003
:159, Pl. 5.2:8, Type JT1) and the Givʽati Parking Lot excavations, where it was dated to the second–first centuries BCE (Sandhaus 2013
:92, 102, Fig. 4.7:4).
The excavation yielded only two small fragments of diagnostic glass (Fig 9): Early Roman, free-blown bowl and beaker. Unfortunately, both fragments were collected from not-stratified construction fills. Both specimens are thin-walled, colorless with a greenish hue fabric and dark and golden weathering. The bowl (Fig. 9:1; L815, B8085) is small, and displays a flaring, rounded rim and a body that tapers downward. The beaker (Fig. 9:2; L826, B8090) has a slightly flaring, rounded and thickened rim and vertical walls. Comparable plain vessels with characteristic thin walls were found at the City of David in Jerusalem, in a level predating the destruction of 70 CE (Ariel 1990
:91–94), as well as in later Judean contexts, such as a miqveh
on Shevut, which dates at the latest to the first third of the second century CE (Gorin-Rosen 1999
:87, Fig. 2:8). Despite the lack of a clear stratigraphic context, these two fragments provide an interesting addition to our knowledge of the use of blown glass vessels in rural settlements near Jerusalem during the late first and early second centuries CE.
Donald T. Ariel
Twelve coins were discovered in the excavation, six of which identifiable. Three coins were found in the layers comprising the ancient road and in the overlying collapse: one apparently from 383–395 CE (L821; IAA 154645); one from the fourth century CE (L812; IAA 154640); and a nummus of Justinian I (534–539 CE, Carthage mint; L825; IAA 154642). A coin of a procurator under Augustus (5/6–10/11 CE; L807; IAA 154644) was found in the collapse east of W802. In addition, a coin of Alexander Jannaeus (104–80/79 BCE; IAA 154643) was found in topsoil, and a coin of Agrippa I (41/42 CE; IAA 154641) was discovered in the northern part of W802.
It seems that the road discovered in the excavation served to connect cultivation plots or fields, as did the roads found near agricultural installations at H
a (Billig 1995
) in Mevesseret Z
ion and in N
ahal Zanoah (Paz, Dmitriev and Melman 2015
). No clean or sealed loci were discovered in the excavation. The remains were covered with alluvium that had accumulated over a long period of time, as evident by artifacts from a variety of periods: several pottery sherds from the Iron Age and from the second–first centuries BCE; fragments of ceramic bowls and jars and glassware from the Roman and Byzantine periods; and coins that range in date from the first century BCE to the sixth century CE. However, since most of the finds date to the first century BCE, we cautiously suggested that the road was first paved in the Second Temple period and was used by the inhabitants of Horbat Teliliya, located on the hilltop.