In October 2015, a trial excavation was conducted to the west of ‘En Zippori (Permit No. A-7517; map ref. 224994–5226/737703–885), prior to the construction of a junction near Moshav Zippori. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by Netivei Israel—the National Transportation Infrastructure Company—was directed by A. Mokary (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Yaakobi (administration), A. Hajian and M. Kunin (surveying and drafting), A. Shapiro (GPS; location map) and laborers from Kafr Manda and Nazareth.
Six excavation squares were opened up (A–F; Fig. 1) on either side of Road 79, c. 500 m west of ‘En Zippori. The excavation uncovered the remains of a dam wall (Sqs A, B), traces of a tabun (Sq C) and the foundation of a wall (Sq D) that date from the Roman and Byzantine periods; also unearthed were an agricultural terrace wall (Sq E) dating from the Mamluk period, and the infrastructure of a road (Sq F) of an unknown date. The excavation yielded worn potsherds (not drawn).
Past surveys at and around the site of ‘En Z
ippori recovered potsherds from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze, Iron, Roman and Byzantine periods (Gal 2002
). During 2001–2003, three excavations were conducted at the springhouse at ‘En Z
ippori (Porat 2005
[Fig. 1: A-3409, A-3696]), which probably served the inhabitants of local settlements over the ages. Previous excavations at and around the ‘En Z
ippori site yielded settlement remains from the Middle Palaeolithic, Pre-Pottery Neolithic B and C, Early and Late Chalcolithic, Early Bronze, Intermediate Bronze, Middle Bronze, Roman, Byzantine, Crusader and Mamluk periods (Barzilai 2010
[Fig. 1: A-5128]; Zidan 2014
[Fig. 1: A-6675]; Milevski and Getzov 2014
[Fig. 1: A-6272, A-6457, A-6784]; Yaroshevich 2016
[Fig. 1: A-7177]; Getzov and Milevski 2017
[Fig. 1: A-7722]; Permit No. A-8055).
Squares A and B yielded two sections of a dam wall (W11, W31; Figs. 2–5), which ran parallel to the Nahal Zippori streambed and c. 30 m to its south. Walls 11 and 31 were built of dry construction out of a single row of roughly hewn chalk stones and were preserved to the height of one course. Collapses of building stones (L12, L30, L32) were uncovered beside the north side of both wall sections, and a few Late Roman and Byzantine potsherds were discovered nearby. Walls 11 and 31 were founded on clayey alluvial soil (L14, L32). The dam wall was probably designed to prevent flooding at times when the stream flow was particularly swift during the Late Roman and Byzantine periods.
Square C. Beneath the surface level of the clayey soil (L50), a jumbled concentration of reddish burnt bricks was unearthed (L51; Figs. 6, 7)—probably part of the base of a tabun that was not preserved.Roman and Byzantine potsherds were found near the concentration of bricks. Clayey alluvium (L52) was discovered beneath the burnt bricks.
Square D. The foundation of a wall (W71; 1.0–1.3 m wide; Figs. 8, 9) built of medium-sized fieldstones was uncovered; it was preserved to the height of a single course. The foundation was discovered near the surface and hence had been damaged by land tillage. Roman and Byzantine pottery was found to the east of the wall foundation (L70). The foundation was set on clayey alluvial soil (L72). It may be a wall foundation of a building.
Square E yielded remains of an agricultural terrace wall (W91; Figs. 10, 11). The wall was built of a single row of fieldstones and was preserved to the height of one course. Mamluk pottery, some of which was glazed, was retrieved from both sides of the wall (L92, L93).
Square F. About 1 m below surface level, a layer of tamped earth mixed with small stones was discovered (L110; Figs. 12, 13); it was founded on the bedrock. The tamped-earth layer apparently served as bedding for an ancient road. No diagnostic finds were recovered in the excavation square.
Gal Z. 2002. Settlement Location in Nahal Zippori as a Reflection of Cultural Diversity from the Neolithic through the Early Bronze Age II–III Periods. In E.C.M. van den Brink and E. Yannai eds. In Quest of Ancient Settlements and Landscapes: Archaeological Studies in Honor of Ram Gophna. Tel Aviv. Pp. 46–56.
Getzov N. and Milevski I. 2017. ‘En Z
ippori. HA-ESI 129
Milevski I. and Getzov N. 2014. ‘En Z
ippori. HA-ESI 126