Four settlement strata that dated to the Umayyad (?; Stratum IV), Abbasid–Fatimid (Stratum III), Fatimid–Crusader (Stratum II) and Mamluk (Stratum I) periods were exposed in the excavation. Eight squares were excavated in Area B1 and remains dated from the Abbasid period—Stratum III. Twelve squares were excavated in Area C4 and the exposed remains were from Strata IV– I. Two secondary phases were discerned in Strata III, II and I; the stratigraphy in the western part of Area C4 is different than that in the eastern part of the area and therefore, each part is described separately. Four squares were excavated in Area C5 and scant architectural remains were revealed, dating to the ninth–tenth centuries CE—Stratum IV or III.
 
Area B1 (Figs. 3–5)
In most of the excavation area (Squares 1–3, 6, 8, 9), soil fill containing potsherds from the Late Byzantine and Early Islamic periods was discovered above the bedrock; which was high in the northern part of the area and descended gently toward the south and east.
Remains of a building that had two rooms were discovered in Squares 10 and 11 (Figs. 6, 7). The walls of the structure (W113, W117, W118, W132; width c. 0.5 m) were built of one row of large roughly hewn stones and another row of small fieldstones; they were preserved a single course high. The foundation courses of the walls were built of small fieldstones set inside hollows in the bedrock with soil between them (Fig. 8). Two openings were set in W117 (E1, E2); they were discovered blocked by collapse consisting of masonry stones and dark colored soil. Two doorjambs with hewn slots and a threshold stone with a square socket for a door hinge were discovered in the northern opening, E1 (Fig. 9). Signs of wear were discerned in the northern part of the threshold stone. Inside the northern room, just west of Opening E1, were two in-situ paving stones, evidently preserved from a stone pavement that was installed near Opening E1 and had not survived. A poorly preserved floor bedding of plaster and crushed chalk (L125, L126, L130) was discovered close to the bedrock in both rooms. A probe was excavated in Bedding 125 in the southern room and it was ascertained that the floor foundation abutted W117 (Fig. 10). An enormous collapse of large fieldstones, ashlars and dark soil (L105, L106, L109) was discovered above the rooms; based on the pottery it contained, it is dated to no later than the tenth century CE.
The ceramic finds in the building remains date to the Abbasid period (ninth–tenth centuries CE; Stratum III) and they include glazed bowls with a flaring rim (Fig. 11:1–4; Bowl 1 has a repair hole in the rim), a bowl decorated with a kerbschnitt design (Fig. 11:5), a bowl with a rim folded outward (Fig. 11:6), a large bowl adorned with a wavy combed pattern below the rim (Fig. 11:7), a cooking pot with a ledge handle (Fig. 11:8), a cooking pot with horizontal loop handles (Fig. 11:9), a jar rim (Fig. 11:10), buff-ware jugs, including a jug with a horizontal combed design below the rim (Fig. 11:11), a jug rim decorated in a mold with palmettes (Fig. 11:12), a flat base of a jug (Fig. 11:13), flasks (Fig. 11:14, 15) and a fragment of a mold-made almond-shaped lamp decorated with floral designs that is characteristic of the Abbasid period (Fig. 11:16). Other finds included a basalt grind stone (Fig. 12) and nails (Fig. 13).
 
Area C4, the Western Part (Figs. 14–16)
Stratum IV. A collecting vat (L298; Fig. 17) and a water reservoir (L312) that continued north beyond the limits of the excavation were exposed in Squares E6 and E7. The collecting vat was mostly hewn in bedrock and probably used in connection with liquids. Its sides were coated with light colored plaster and its bottom was paved with mosaics, composed of white, medium-sized industrial tesserae. Pilasters for carrying an arch were revealed in the western part of the reservoir. These probably supported a vaulted ceiling that was not preserved. The bedrock was utilized in the northern part of the reservoir’s ceiling. The dating of the stratum cannot be determined with certainty, since the potsherds recovered from the collecting vat and reservoir originated in Stratum III.
 
Stratum III. Two secondary phases, an early phase (IIIb) and a late phase (IIIa), were discerned and exposed in most of the western area. A crushed and tamped chalk floor (L291) was exposed in Sq E7; it set on the bedrock in the early phase (IIIb). The floor sealed the collecting vat and the western part of the reservoir of Stratum IV. The floor abutted the western side of Wall 336. It seems that this wall blocked the access to the reservoir, which was probably from the west (Fig. 18). The reservoir was presumably used as a cistern in this stratum. Part of a room was exposed in Sq E6; it included a stone pavement (L323) that abutted a wall (W278; Fig. 19). Part of a large threshold stone that was uncovered in W278 shows that the entrance to the room was from the east. Stone Pavement 323 was higher than Chalk Floor 291, probably because of differences in the bedrock elevation. A staircase (L305) was apparently built in the southern part of W278. A tamped crushed chalk floor (L310) was exposed east of W278 and abutted a meager wall (W331), built of flat fieldstones that were set in place on their narrow sides. The continuation of the wall was also discerned in the northern part (not drawn). It seems that W331 delimited a raised plaster floor located to its east (L314). A plaster floor (L218), probably the continuation of Floor 314, was exposed in the northeastern corner of the square. Floor 218 abutted the southern side of W332. The northern side of the latter wall was situated beyond the excavation limits. A tamped and crushed chalk floor (L296) was exposed in Sq E4 at a similar elevation as Floor 310. Floor 296 abutted two walls (W329, W330).
Two walls (W279, W334) of the late phase (IIIa) were exposed in the western part of the area; they were founded partly on Floors 291 and 323 of Phase IIIb, which continued to be used in this phase. Walls 279 and 334 were adjoined from the north by two walls (W333, W338) that apparently enclosed rooms located mostly beyond the bounds of the excavation. Stone Pavement 323 (L306) was raised south of W334 in the western part. It seems that at the end of this phase, Cistern 312 was no longer used and it filled up with earth mixed with numerous potsherds from the Abbasid and Fatimid periods. The ceramic finds in the cistern are homogenous; they represent the types of vessels in Stratum III and date the stratum to the eighth–tenth centuries CE. The finds include a plain bowl of light brown clay with a thin wall and upright rim (Fig. 20:1); a complete bowl with an everted rim, glazed on the inside with brown patches and green stripes over a yellow background (Fig. 20:2); a bowl with a flat base, short side and a ledge rim that bears remains of bright gold/white colored glaze (I. Taxel identified this bowl—opaque tin white glazed; Fig. 20:3); a deep bowl decorated with combing (Fig. 20:4); jars (Fig. 20:5, 6); an imported jar that probably comes from ‘Aqaba (Fig. 20:7); buff-war jugs (Fig. 20:8, 9); a rim of a jug or flask (Fig. 20:10) bearing burnt marks, and a miniature object with three legs in the shape of a flat bowl glazed entirely yellow (Fig. 20:11).
 
Strata IIa/Ib. A stone wall (W344), without floors or adjoining habitation levels, was exposed in Squares E4 and E5.
 
Later Remains. A level of small and medium fieldstones (L221) was discovered below a modern roadbed in Sq E7. Similar levels were noted in the east of the area (L216).
 
Area C4, the Eastern Part
Stratum III. Architectural remains were discovered above the bedrock, and two secondary phases, an early phase (IIIb) and late phase (IIIa), were discerned. Two walls (W325, W327) that formed a corner and are ascribed to the early phase (IIIb) were exposed in Squares E2 and W2. These walls were abutted from the west and south by a crushed chalk floor (L289). Three walls (W248, W280, W282) that apparently formed a room in Sq W3 were exposed; the wall foundations were set on top of the bedrock. Two tabuns (L317, L318) that probably belonged to this phase based on their absolute elevation were exposed north of W248 (Fig. 21).
Two walls (W277, W340) that formed the corner of a room in the southeast of the area were ascribed to the late phase (IIIa). Wall 277 was abutted from the south by an earthen floor (L300). The western part of the W277 was founded on W327 of Phase IIIb. Wall 282, from the early phase, was made thicker and continued to be used in Sq W3. Wall 282 was adjoined by another wall (W328) from the west. Remains of a stone pavement (L232) were exposed in the area west of Walls 282 and 328; it probably abutted the walls and it was overlain with a later stone pavement from Stratum II (L319; Fig. 22).
The ceramic finds from Stratum III date to the Early Islamic period (eighth–tenth centuries CE) and include six glazed bowls (Fig. 23:1–6), four of which have everted rims (Fig. 23:1–4); a buff ware bowl with a folded and everted rim (Fig. 23:7); a Fine Byzantine Ware cup that is slipped and burnished and has a curved side (Fig. 23:8) and dates to the eighth–ninth centuries CE; buff-ware jugs (Fig. 23:9–14) and a mold-made, intact almond-shaped lamp (Fig. 23:15) that has a high tongue-like handle and dates to the ninth–eleventh centuries CE.
Other special finds included a bronze kohl stick (Fig. 23:16) that is pointed at both ends and has a thickened rectangular center adorned with an incised decoration (cf., Khalailay and Avissar 2008: Fig. 19:6) and a square bronze weight (4.85 gr; Fig. 23:17) the likes of which were discovered in other sites from the Early Islamic period (Gorzalczany 2004:43–44). A special glass weight (L233; Fig. 24; A. Lester, below) that bears the name of the caliph el-Hakim (996–1021 CE) from the beginning of the Fatimid dynasty also came from this stratum.
 
Stratum II. Two secondary phases (IIb, IIa) were discerned. A stone pavement (L262) and a large casserole (L250; Figs. 21, 25) above it were exposed in the early phase (IIb). Three walls (W283–W285) that together formed an installation (L270) were discovered close to the floor. Floor 262 abutted Wall 284. Wall 282 continued to be used in this phase, and was abutted from the west by a stone pavement (L319) whose absolute elevation was similar to that of Stone Pavement 262. A wall (W271) and a stone pavement (L322) that abutted it were exposed in Sq E3. Another course was built on W340 of Stratum IIIa in this phase. Wall 340 formed a corner with another wall (W274), whose southern side was only revealed. Another wall (W273) adjoined W274 from the north. A broad wall (W213) adjoined from the north by three narrower walls (W341–W343) was exposed in Sq E2. These four walls might have been built in this phase; however, they certainly existed in the next phase (IIa; below).
A wall (W252) ascribed to Phase IIa was exposed in Sq E3; it had a slightly different orientation than W271 of the early Phase IIb. Another wall (W326) that might also have belonged to this phase was discovered to the southeast of W252. Wall 274 of the early phase also continued to be used, with an additional course of ashlars; it was abutted from the north by a floor (L243) of stone slabs, soil and small fieldstones. West of W274 was a wall (W275) built in the same direction; it seems that W275 was a thickening of the southern side of W274. Walls 213, 341–343 were used in this phase. The artifacts from Stratum II are not many and date to the Fatimid–Crusader periods (eleventh–thirteenth centuries CE).
The finds include mainly fragments of bowls decorated with sgrafitto and glazed yellow on the inside, among them a bowl with a plain rim and a curved side (Fig. 26:1), two bowl bases (Fig. 26:2, 3) and a bowl with a slightly carinated side (Fig. 26:4; Avissar 1996: Fig. XIII.19:2). The latter bowl first appeared in the first half of the eleventh century CE and is dated at Yoqneʽam to the eleventh–twelfth centuries CE (Avissar 1996:87–90, Type 28).
 
Stratum I. Two secondary phases (Ib, Ia) were discerned in the later remains at the site, dating to the Mamluk period. The remains from the early phase (Ib) were mostly a continuation of the remains of the previous stratum (IIa). Wall 213 continued to be used in Phase Ib and was adjoined from the north by three walls (W341–W343); from the south it was abutted by a floor (L267) that was set above W326 of Stratum IIa. Floor 267 consisted of tamped, crushed chalk mixed with soil and stone slabs, and it abutted another wall (W238) from the west. It should be noted that a hoard of eight coins (Fig. 27), dating to the beginning of the Mamluk period (the end of Baybars’ reign; see Bijovski and Berman, below), was discovered in the fill of Floor 267 and next to W213. Remains of another wall (W235) were unearthed in Sq W2.
The meager remains ascribed to Phase Ia were all exposed in Sq E1 (Fig. 28); these included a stone pavement (L320) on which a thin wall was built (W212; it might belong to a later phase). A drainage channel (W244) that sloped to the west was exposed south of W212, in a spot where the pavement was not preserved.
The ceramic finds in Stratum I dated to the Mamluk period (fourteenth century CE) and included a bowl with a sloping rim and coated with white slip that is decorated with brown paint (Fig. 29:1), a bowl with an everted rim and coated with a thick cracked slip that is decorated with a plain linear pattern (Fig. 29:2), a yellow glazed bowl with an inverted rim (Fig. 29:3), a shallow handmade bowl (Fig. 29:4), a handle of a large vessel, probably a pot-shaped jar that is handmade and decorated with a reddish purple geometric pattern (Fig. 29:5), which does not appear prior to the fourteenth century CE, a fragment of a closed handmade vessel, slipped white and decorated with a painted reticulated pattern (Fig. 29:6), a handmade lid with a rod-like handle in the center (Fig. 29:7), a handmade lid with a loop handle (Fig. 29:8) and fragments of mold-made lamps with geometric decorations that have folded handles (Fig. 29:9, 10; Avissar 1996:194–195, Mamluk Molded Slipper Lamps, Type 3) and are characteristic of the Mamluk period.
Area C4 had also yielded artifacts that had no stratigraphic context and came from unclean loci. These included a ceramic pomegranate- shaped vessel (Fig. 30:1), the likes of which was discovered in Area C5 (below), a stamped pithos handle (Fig. 30:2), a fragment of a clay pipe from the Ottoman period (Fig. 30:3), a bronze thimble (length 3 cm; Fig. 30:4) and two stone loom weights (Fig. 30:6, 7), as well as a small thin bronze ornament (2.5 × 2.5 cm; Fig. 30:5) that is adorned with a square hammered frame comprising round protrusions; the frame encloses a cross-like (?) decoration with leaf patterns (?) between its arms.
 
Area C5 (Figs. 31–33)
Four squares were excavated (1, 5, 6, 12) and scant architectural remains were discovered; these were founded on the bedrock and were mainly foundation remains of buildings that consisted of large fieldstones. The remains were overlain with light colored soil fill that contained potsherds dating to the ninth–tenth centuries CE (Stratum III or IV).
 
Sq 1. A wall foundation (W506; width 0.6 m), built of different size limestone and aligned northeast–southwest, was exposed.
 
Sq 5. Remains of two walls (W524, W525) that formed the southwestern corner of a room were exposed. The walls were built of medium-sized fieldstones, some of which were dressed on one side. Wall 525 was built on a base of small fieldstones that served as a foundation course. A section of a plaster floor (L532) that abutted W525 from the east was exposed in the northern part of the square. A section of a plaster floor (L520) that abutted W524 was revealed in the south of the square. Although the two floor sections could not be connected, it was noticed that Floor 532 was higher and descended gently to the south toward Floor 520. Potsherds from the Abbasid period (ninth–tenth century CE), which date the floor, were discovered below Floor 520, including two fragments of buff-ware jugs, one of which is a jug base (Fig. 34:3) and the other is a double handle adorned with plastic decoration on its top (Fig. 34:4), and a jar rim (Fig. 34:5) that first appears in the Umayyad period (seventh century CE).
 
Sq 6. Remains of two walls (W528, W529) that formed the northeastern corner of a room were exposed. The ceramic finds recovered from the area between the two walls (L513) and down to the bedrock dated to the Early Islamic period (Umayyad?). On the bedrock north of the walls (L514) were a fragment of a LRC3 bowl with a red slip and burnish (Fig. 34:1) that dates to the Late Roman period and a fragment of a jar rim of light brown clay with a prominent ridge on its rim (Fig. 34:6), which dates to the ninth–tenth centuries CE. A pomegranate-like vessel (Fig. 34:7), similar to the one discovered on the surface in Area C4, was found in L513. According to A. Lester, although the base of the vessel is round it could still be placed on a table without falling or toppling thanks to its low center of gravity.
 
Sq 12 (Figs. 32, 35) was c. 25 m northwest of Sq 6. Architectural remains of two secondary phases were unearthed below a modern road. Short sections of two walls (W512, W531) built of ashlars are ascribed to the early phase; only the western sides of the walls were exposed. Wall 512 was abutted from the west by a layer of crushed chalk (L526; a floor?) that was deposited above the bedrock. Two walls (W508, W510) that formed a corner are ascribed to the late phase. They were built of medium and large roughly hewn stones. Wall 510 was set against W512 and it seems that W510 belonged to the late phase. On the east, parallel to W508, was another wall (W530) built of two rows of stone, whose eastern side consisted of medium-sized fieldstones and its western side was of small fieldstones. A foundation of small fieldstones (L521) was revealed in the area between Walls 508 and 530; it was preserved mainly on the southern side. Just south of Foundation 521 was a section of the northern side of a built wall (W533) or bedrock terrace. A medium-sized fieldstone with a hewn cup mark was discovered south of W530; this might be a socket stone that was not in situ. Potsherds from the Early Islamic period were discovered in the square, including a bowl with an inverted rim (Fig. 34:2), and a bronze kohl stick (Fig. 34:8) whose one end was flat and round.
 
Archaeozoological Finds
Moshe Sadeh
 
The animal bones discovered in the excavation belong to two periods—the Abbasid and the Crusader–Mamluk periods (thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE). The bones from the Abbasid period (L214, L261, L264, L290, L296; Tables 1–3) are those of domesticated animals only, among them sheep/goat (Ovis aries/Capra hircus), cattle (Bos taurus), horse (Equus caballus), donkey (Equus asinus) and domestic chicken (Gallus gallus domestica). The finds from this period are quite meager and little can be said about them, except for the fact that the horse bones indicate there was a notable civilian or military personage at the site.
The bones from the thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE (L216, L221, L229, L233, L234, L237, L247; Tables 4–6) belong to both domesticated and wild animals. The domesticated animals include sheep/goat, cattle, horse, donkey, dromedary camel (Camelus dromedaries), domestic dog (Canis familiaris) and domestic chicken. The skull of a mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon ichneumon) and a marine mollusk (Murex trunculus [Linee’]) are bones belonging to wild animals. It should be noted that there are nine incisors among the horse bones. The horse has four incisors in each jaw and a total of eight per individual. Since nine horse incisors were discovered there is reason to believe that they represent two individuals. On the basis of the archaeozoological finds from this period it can be said that cattle constituted the main branch of the settlement’s livestock and since these animals required large amounts of water, it can therefore be assumed that the settlement had a plentiful supply of water. The camel bones at the site point to ties with distant places located across deserts. The two horses from this period show there was more than one important personage at the site at this time.
The study was conducted based on the identification of the bones according to species using work done by von den Driesch (1976) and Schmid’s bone measurements (1972), while comparing the assemblage with bones from the Tel Aviv University and with a collection that was saved from previous excavations.
Archaeozoological Finds from the Abbasid Period
Table 1. Breakdown of bones of domesticated animals
 
Species
 
Bones
Sheep/
goat
Cattle
Horse
Donkey
Domestic chicken
Total
Cranium
2
 
 
2
 
4
Mandibula
3
1
 
 
 
4
Molar
5
1
 
 
 
6
Premolar
3
 
 
 
 
3
Incisor
 
 
 
1
 
1
Scapula
 
 
 
1
 
1
Humerus
1
 
 
1
 
2
Ulna
 
 
 
 
1
1
Metacarpus
 
 
 
1
 
1
Pelvis
2
 
 
 
 
2
Tibia
1
 
 
 
 
1
Fibula
 
 
 
1
 
1
Metatarsus
 
 
 
1
 
1
Astragale
1
 
 
1
 
2
Unidentified limb
1
2
 
2
1
6
V. Lumbar
1
2
1
1
 
5
Rib
5
1
 
3
 
9
Total
25
7
1
14
3
50
%
50.00
14.00
2.00
28.00
6.00
100.00
 
 
Table 2: Limb bones of domesticated animals (r –right, l –left)
  Species
 
 Bones
Sheep/goat
 
R              L
Donkey
 
R              L
Domestic
Chicken
R              L
Distal humerus
1
 
 
1
 
 
Proximal ulna
 
 
 
 
 
1
Proximal metacarpus
 
 
 
1
 
 
Distal tibia
 
1
 
 
 
 
Astragale
1
 
 
1
 
 
Distal metatarsus
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
 
Table 3. The minimum number of individuals (MNI).
Species
 
Sheep/goat
Cattle
Horse
Donkey
Domestic chicken
Total
MNI
1
1
1
1
1
5
%
20.00
20.00
20.00
20.00
20.00
100.00
 
 
Archaeozoological Finds from the Crusader–Mamluk Periods
(thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE)
Table 4. Breakdown of bones belonging to domesticated animals
Species
Bones
Sheep/goat
Cattle
Horse
Donkey
Dromedary camel
Domestic dog
Domestic chicken
Total
Maxilla
1
1
 
 
 
 
 
2
Orbit
 
2
 
 
 
 
 
2
Mandibula
5
 
3
 
 
 
 
8
Incisor
 
1
9
1
 
 
 
11
Premolar
7
 
 
 
 
 
 
7
Molar
6
2
 
5
 
 
 
13
Scapula
3
1
 
 
 
 
 
4
Coracoid
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
1
Humerus
3
4
 
 
 
 
 
7
Radius
 
2
 
 
 
 
1
3
Ulna
1
1
 
 
 
1
 
3
Metacarpus
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
1
Pelvis
3
 
 
 
 
 
 
3
Femur
 
1
 
 
 
 
 
1
Tibia
1
1
 
1
 
 
 
3
Astragale
 
1
 
1
 
 
 
2
Calcaneus
 
1
 
 
 
 
 
1
Metatarsus
 
2
 
 
 
 
 
2
Unidentified limb
9
7
1
1
 
 
1
19
Phalanx I
1
 
 
1
1
 
 
3
Phalanx II
 
1
 
 
 
 
 
1
V. Lumbar
16
5
1
 
 
 
 
22
Rib
10
20
 
 
 
 
 
30
Total
66
53
14
10
1
2
3
149
%
44.29
35.57
9.39
6.71
0.69
1.34
2.01
100.00
Table 5. Limb bones of domesticated animals (r –right, l –left)
Species
 
Bones
 
Sheep/goat
 
R       L
Cattle
 
R    L  
Horse
 
R     L                                
Donkey
 
R       L
Dromedary camel
R       L
Domestic dog
R       L
Domestic chicken
R       L
Distal humerus
2
1
 
4
1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proximal radius
 
 
1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
Proximal ulna
 
1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
 
Proximal femur
 
 
 
1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proximal tibia
1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Distal tibia
 
 
1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Astragale
 
 
 
1
 
 
 
1
 
 
 
 
 
 
Calcaneus
 
 
1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proximal metatarsus
 
 
 
2
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
 
 
 
Distal metatarsus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
 
 
 
 
 
Table 6. The minimum number of individuals (MNI) – amended table according to the horse incisors in the entire assemblage
Species
Sheep/goat
Cattle
Horse
Donkey
Dromedary camel
Domestic dog
Domestic chicken
Total
MNI
2
4
2
1
1
1
1
12
%
14.28
33.33
14.28
9.535
9.535
9.535
9.535
100.00
 
 
The Glass Vessels
Brigitte Ouahnouna
 
The excavation yielded c. 300 glass fragments; about two thirds are small non-diagnostic fragments and 40 are glass industrial waste. The assemblage consists of a wide range of vessel types, including bowls, bottles and two decorated fragments, which can mainly be attributed to two periods: the earliest dating from the Late Roman–Early Byzantine periods and the largest quantity (Fig. 36) belongs to the Abbasid period. Except for a few fragments, most of the selected representative fragments were found in L312—fill of a water cistern, which yielded also numerous potsherds.
 
Fig. 36:1 is a bowl (L125) of pale greenish blue glass, coated with pitting and black silvery and iridescence weathering; on the interior, it is encrusted with sand deposits and on the exterior, traces of polishing are visible. The rim (diam. 21 cm) is slanting and out folded. The bowl is dated to the Early Islamic period, based on its fabric and the shape of the rim, although the nature of its weathering is different than that of the other vessels. The shade of the glass is similar to the color of vessels that are dated to the Late Byzantine period, but the weathering is not the same. A similar vessel was found at Zippori (HA-ESI 122: Fig. 16:1)
Fig. 36:2 (L312) is a shallow plain bowl made of light greenish glass with black pitting, silver weathering and iridescence. The bowl has a complete profile, with a straight wall, a rounded rim (diam. 7.2 cm) and a flat bottom. It is one of the most common types, characteristic of the Early Islamic period; such bowls were found at Bet She’an (Hadad 2005: Pl. 26:517).
Fig. 36:3 (L129) and Fig. 36:4 (L312) are base fragments of the same type of vessels. The base in Fig. 36:3 (diam. 8 cm) has a characteristic triangular section at the connection between wall and base. A severe pitting with milky weathering covers the very light blue glass. The base in Fig. 36:4 is made of greenish glass, and its circumference is thickened at the junction between wall and base (base diam. 6.4 cm; pontil scar 1.2 cm).
Four fragments represent common types of bottles during the Early Islamic period.
Fig. 36:5, 6 are bottles with infolded rims. The first (Fig. 36:5; L312) is made of light bluish glass with pitting and silvery weathering. The rim is almost complete (diam. 3.2 cm) and the neck is short (height 2.8 cm). The second (Fig. 36:6; L312) is made of greenish glass, with pitting and silvery weathering. The higher neck is completely preserved (height 5 cm; Hadad 2005: Pls. 37:759, 38:761).
Fig. 36:7 (L312) is a bottle with a bulge in the lower neck, which was common and widely spread out from the Abbasid to the Mamluk periods (Gorin-Rosen 2010:238–239, Pl. 10.6:20). The rim (diam. 3.7 cm) is made of very light greenish glass, highly bubbly, with severe pitting, silver weathering and iridescence.
Fig. 36:8 (L312) is a rim of a bottle that is associated with a base. The two fragments are made of colorless glass, highly bubbly, with pitting, silver weathering and iridescence. The rim is upright (diam. 3.2 cm), the neck is wide, straight and short (height 3.1 cm). The base is incomplete, slightly concave, with a prominent pontil scar (length. 1.4 cm) and has the form of an octagon. The eight facets were obtained by mold-blowing. The edges of the octagon are clearly visible on the shoulder as well.
Fig. 36:9, 10 (L312) are bases of flared bowls (diams. 7.5 and 12 cm respectively), slightly concave with prominent pontil scar on Fig. 36:10. The two fragments are made of light green glass of poor quality, with high pitting and silvery weathering (Bass, Brill, Lledo and Matthews 2009: Fig. 12:2–4).
Two small decorated fragments deserve particular attention.
Fig. 36:11 (L242) is a small base fragment, made of colorless glass with a green
tinge and a typical mold-blown decoration, including a star pattern surrounded by a
circle (for typology of mold-blown patterns, see Bass, Brill, Lledo and Matthews 2009: Fig. 3:1, 2). Mold-blown vessels were common in the Abbasid period.
Fig. 36:12 (L205) is a very rare example of a vessel with marvered decoration from the Early Islamic period, although marvering is one of the oldest known glass decoration techniques. Marvered vessels from this period are very rare and only very few are known from excavations, e.g., the few fragments recovered from Umayyad contexts at Bet She’an (Hadad 2005: IX, Nos. 326, 327, 330, Pl. 17: Nos. 326–330). Our fragment is made of dark brown glass and its surface is decorated with white and red threads, forming a geometrical pattern.
 
The evidence of glass manufacture in the excavation included a moil fragment, one glass drop, chunks of raw glass and a few fragments of furnace debris (Fig. 37). 
The moil in Fig. 37:1 is made of pale blue glass and is clearly the debris of glass blowing, representing the detachment of the neck of the vessel from the blowpipe. This waste indicates that a glass workshop operated nearby.
The uneven glass drop (Fig. 37:2) is made of pale bluish glass.
Most of the raw glass chunks (Fig. 37:3–11), clean of debris, are of a light blue shade
(Fig. 37:3–7, 9), one is greenish (Fig. 37:8) and two are yellowish brown (Fig. 37:10, 11). They vary in size (2.0–6.5 cm) and have a triangular or trapezoidal section.
The excavations also revealed lumps of various sizes (2–12 cm; Fig. 37:12–18) that comprise a layer of glass and debris beneath it, which were mostly formed at the bottom of the glassmaker’s furnace as a result of settling debris. They convey the conglomerate structure of the severely-heated stones, with some veins of partially vitrified glass and opaque layers.
 
The Coins (see appendix attached)
Ariel Berman and Gabriela Bijovsky
Twenty coins were recovered from the excavation, one of which is unidentifiable. The coins were cleaned (L. Kupershmidt) and photographed (C. Amit) at the IAA laboratories. The coin finds include a small hoard of eight coins dating to the Mamluk period (Appendix, Table 1: Nos. 13–20; Fig. 38). The earliest find is a worn Hasmonean coin (Appendix, Table 1: No. 1), followed by two Fel Temp Reparatio issues, dated to 351–354 CE (Appendix, Table 1: Nos. 2, 3) and a Byzntine FOLLIS of Justin I (Appendix, Table 1: No. 4).
 
With the exception of an Umayyad fals struck in Ludd (Appendix, Table 1: No. 5), all the Islamic isolated coins are Mamluk (Appendix, Table 1: Nos. 6–20). Two silver coins (Appendix, Table 1: Nos. 6, 7) issued under Baybars I, may attest to the Mamluk occupation of the area in 1267 CE; this date correlates to the deposition of the small hoard (Appendix, Table 1: Nos. 13–17). Another possibility may be the arrival of these coins as reused currency during the fourteenth century CE, a common phenomenon observed in Mamluk coin finds. According to a coin (Appendix, Table 1: No. 8) minted under Al-Mansūr Muhammad (AH 762/1362 CE), we may attribute the four unidentified coins to the second part of the fourteen century CE (Appendix, Table 1: Nos. 9–12).
The small hoard of eight copper coins (Appendix, Table 1: Nos. 13–20), found in L267, is composed of two different contemporary currencies: five identical fulūs minted by Baybars I (Appendix, Table 1: Nos. 13–17), together with two copper coins of Bohemund, lord of Tripoli and an uncertain European coin (Appendix, Table 1: Nos. 18–20). The presence of these coins together with the hoard indicates the probable Mamluk immediate occupation and the eventual deposition of the hoard. It is impossible to establish the nature of the hoard’s owner, whether he was a Frankish countryman or a new Muslim settler.
 
A Glass Weight from the Fatimid Period
Ayala Lester
 
A complete circular glass weight was discovered in Stratum III, in the eastern part of Area C4; it bears a poorly preserved inscription (L233; diam. 2.7 cm; 5.56 gr; Fig. 24). The center of the weight is covered with silvery weathering. The weight bears the name of the caliph El-Hakim Bamri Allah, who ruled in 996–1020 CE (386–411 AH). It is made of pale green glass and covered with incrustations on the obverse and along its edges. On the obverse and reverse of the weight are inscriptions made in relief, enclosed within a round prominent frame of uneven width (0.25–0.50 cm). The inscription on the obverse is fairly illegible and is surrounded by a decorative relief of dots. The inscription on the reverse consists of three lines.
 
Obverse:
[E]l-Hakim Bi-amri [Allah] – الحا كم با مر (الله)
وعلى وليه
لا الا اله الا الله
محمد رسول الله
على ولى عهده
 
And Ali is loyal to his covenant
 
Reverse:
There is no God but God
Mohammad [is the apostle] of God
Ali is the friend of God
 
The inscriptions are in low relief, and it seems that the original mold used to prepare the item was extremely worn. Based on its weight of 5.56 grams, it seems that the artifact had a value equivalent to two dirhams (each dirham weighs 2.8 grams); because of the wear, its weight is now slightly less than its original weight. A similar weight (5.47 grams; IAA No. 2008-492) was discovered in an excavation in Ramla (Permit No. A-2794); it is made of whitish glass and bears an illegible inscription. Another similar weight (5.58 grams) was discovered in an excavation at Tiberias (License No. G-22/1973) and it too has an inscription that cannot be read. Weights bearing the name of El-Hakim Bi-amri Allah are known from various publications, among them the collection of glass weights of the British Museum (Lane-Pool 1891: No. 96), weights in the University of London (Petrie 1926: Nos. 355, 356) and weights from Damascus (Launois 1969: Nos. 69–72). Glass weights bearing the name of El-Hakim were also discovered in Tiberias and ‘Aqaba. The edges of the latter object are broken; hence its weight is not cited (Whitcomb 1994:37–38, Cat. No. 3). The weight from Tiberias bearing the name of El-Hakim was discovered near the city’s southern gate (Lester 2004:212–216, No. 4).
 
Three areas were opened in the excavation, and a different stratigraphic picture unfolded in each of them. In Area B1, remains of a building from the Abbasid period (Stratum III) were discovered, contributing to our understanding about the scope of the settlement in this period. Remains of this building were discovered in the north of the area and only a layer of gray alluvial soil was exposed south of them. Therefore, it seems that this building is the southern boundary of the Abbasid-period settlement at the site. Based on the large amount of collapse that was discovered on the building remains it appears to have been destroyed. E. Yannai, who conducted an excavation north of here, states that Stratum III in his excavations was destroyed by an earthquake that struck in 1033 CE (from a report provided to the contractor dated 21.01.07). This assertion is doubtful because no potsherds from the Fatimid period were discovered in the building remains in Area B1. The settlement continuity exposed in Area C4 ranges from the Early Islamic to the Mamluk periods. The earliest stratum (IV) at the site probably dates to the Umayyad period and it was only exposed in Area C4. The coin hoard discovered in the latest stratum in this area and dating to the end of Baybars’ reign shows that this part of the site was abandoned at the time of Baybars’ conquest and remained unoccupied until the construction of the qibbuz in 1949. Scant building remains from the Early Islamic period were discovered in Area C5.
 
 
 

 
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