In January 2015, a Corinthian marble capital, which was found at the site of Sidna ‘Ali, was turned over to the Israel Antiquities Authority. The capital had been found in the yard of a home in Herzliyya Pituah. It was documented by D. Barkan and A. Dayan.
The capital (bottom diam. 0.23 m, top width 0.28–0.30 m, top diagonals 0.33–0.38 m, height 0.18 m; Fig. 1) is decorated with a single row of leaflets: four acanthus leaves that meet to create a symmetrical geometric form of a small rhomboid with a pentagon above it. The main vein of the acanthus is emphasized with vertical parallel lines down to the base, from which emerge diagonal leaflets with a grooved vein in their center. The abacus (top of the capital) is divided horizontally into two undecorated strips with a groove. At the center of each of its four sides, where the acanthus flower usually is situated, is a rough, unworked geometrical shape.
Such capitals were placed atop small columns and are dated to the Roman period (second–third centuries CE). Similar capitals were found in Caesarea (Aviram 1998:129, Capitals 170, 172, 173), Bet Guvrin (Geri 2008:42), Greece (Kautzsch 1936: Pls. 17, 239) and Salona (Kautzsch 1936: Pls. 2, 14, 19).
A survey of Sidna ‘Ali yielded pottery from the Byzantine, Mamluk and Ottoman periods (Barkan and Dayan 2018). However, it is near Arsuf-Apollonia, where building remains from the Roman period have been uncovered in the past. It is thus reasonable to conclude that the original provenance of the capital was Arsuf-Apollonia, and that in a later period it was brought over to Sidna ‘Ali for secondary use.
Aviram A. 1998. The Development of Column Capitals in Caesarea Maritima from Herod to the End of the Byzantine Period. M.A. thesis. University of Haifa. Haifa (Hebrew).
Geri A. 2008. Architectural Items from Beth Guvrin (Eleutheropolis) from the Roman and Byzantine Periods. M.A. thesis. Tel Aviv University. Tel Aviv (Hebrew).
Kautzsch R. 1936. Kapitellstudien, Beiträge zu einer Geschichte des spätantiken Kapitells in Osten vom vierten bis ins siebente Jahrhundert. Berlin.