Bet Shemesh, Ramat Bet Shemesh

Roie greenwald
Final Report
In October 2013, a trial excavation was conducted in Ramat Bet Shemesh C, northwest of Horbat Bet Natif (Permit No. A-6911; map ref. 199228/623172; Fig. 1), prior to paving a road. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Ministry of Construction and Housing, was directed by R. Greenwald, with the assistance of N. Nahama (administration), A. Hajian and M. Kunin (surveying and drafting), A. Peretz (photography) and N. Zak (plans). Y. Zur, A. Melman and S. Gendler carried out antiquities inspections at the site and prepared the area for excavation.
An agricultural terrace retaining wall (W100; Fig. 2) and four sections of a stone quarry (L1001, L1004–L1006) were exposed on a spur that descends gently toward the northeast; they were discerned on the surface prior to the excavation. Wall 100 was built of a row of stones set on the bedrock in a northwest–southeast direction; it was preserved to a height of two courses (Fig. 3). A bedrock outcrop was discovered northeast of the wall. Fill consisting of soil and many small stones placed on top of the nari bedrock (L1000; depth 1 m; Fig. 4) was discovered slightly southwest of the wall; the fill continued to the southwest, and was practically devoid of stones. The wall retained a cultivation plot that extended up the hill to the south. A rectangular rock-cutting (L1004; max. depth on the western side 0.9 m) was discovered in the northeast of the area and a severance channel was exposed along its eastern side. Part of a quarry was revealed in the east of the area where there was evidence of hewn stone blocks and severance channels (L1001; max. quarried depth 0.3 m; Fig. 5). Shallow severance channels (L1005; depth 3–5 cm) were exposed below a bedrock terrace near W100, in the northwest of the area. A long quarrying line (L1006; length 4 m, depth 0.2–0.5 m) was exposed in the southwest of the area. Plow marks were observed on the bedrock exposed in the area between the quarry sections. The upper part of the quarry was damaged by modern-era plowing. The quarry was probably used by residents of a nearby settlement.
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