In August 2017, a salvage excavation was carried out c. 300 south of ‘Enot Shuni (Shumi; Permit No. A-8079; map ref. 195568/715534; Fig. 1), after antiquities were discovered during inspection prior to the installation of underground infrastructure. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by the Rushdi Halabi Brothers Company, was directed by E. Oren, with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), V. Essman (surveying and drafting), A. Dagot (GPS), P. Gendelman (pottery) and M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing), as well as M. Masarwa and K. Sa‘id of the IAA Haifa District.
The excavation area extended east of the Binyamina–Zikhron Ya’akov Road (Road 652), at the foot of Ramat Ha-Nadiv, east of the northwestern bank of a stream that currently serves as a drainage channel for the farming in this area. The water of the ‘Enot Shuni springs was once channeled through the Upper Aqueduct that led to Caesarea and apparently also to the site of Shuni; remains of the aqueduct are located north of the excavation area. Remains of another aqueduct are found west of the excavation area, along Road 652. This aqueduct, which originates at the ‘En Zur springs, was also part of the water system to Caesarea in the Roman and Byzantine periods. The ‘Enot Shuni site has been surveyed and excavated in the past. The remains of an Ottoman-period khan were uncovered in Shuni Park and to immediately to its east. The khan was built over the remains of a Roman-period theater, as well as the remains of magnificent pools, of winepresses from the Byzantine period and parts of the aqueducts (Shenhav 1990; 1991; Abumokh 2001). An excavation east of Road 652 unearthed cemeteries dating mainly from the Intermediate Bronze Age and the Middle Bronze Age II (Peilstöcker and Sklar-Parnes 2005
), and c. 20 m south of the current excavation a segment of a road and fragments of a marble relief from a Roman-period sarcophagus were found (Gersht 2000).
Two excavation squares were opened, revealing the remains of a substantial square structure (Figs. 2, 3). The eastern, southern and western foundations of the structure (W103, W108, W112) were preserved; they were built of partially dressed limestones (average size 0.4 × 0.6 × 0.6 m). The eastern foundation was preserved to a height of two courses; a fragmentary granite column in secondary use was incorporated in this foundation, which extended beyond the boundary of the excavation. The southeastern corner of the structure was buttressed on the inside with partially dressed fieldstones and a fill of small fieldstones (Fig. 4). The western foundation also survived to a height of two courses; a fragment of a granite column in secondary use served as its lower course (Fig. 5). Three stones found in the northern part of the structure may be remnants of its northern foundation. The foundations surrounded a core (L105) constructed of fieldstones of various sizes and a fragment of a granite column in secondary use. A backhoe probe to the east of the structure revealed a collapse of dressed stones (Fig. 6).
The remains of the structure yielded a Roman-period jar (Fig. 7:1) and a Gaza-type jug from the Early Islamic period (Fig. 7:3). Among the collapsed stones to the east of the building were fragments of a bag-shaped jar (Fig. 7:2) and a flask (Fig. 7:4), both also dating from the Early Islamic period.
The location of these remains on a stream bank suggest that they were part of the pier of a bridge that spanned the stream in an area that was part of the floodplain. It is possible that the road uncovered in the past near the current excavation led to this bridge. The structure may be dated to the Early Islamic period based on the pottery finds and the architectural elements from the Roman period that were incorporated in secondary use into its foundations.
Abumokh K. 2001. Shuni. ESI 113:34*.
Gersht R. 2000. Two Fragmentary Marble Reliefs from Shuni (Maiumas). ‘Atiqot 39:43*–47* (Hebrew).
Peilstöcker M. and Sklar-Parnes D. 2005. ‘Enot Shuni. HA-ESI 117.
Shenhav E. 1990. Shuni. ESI 7–8:166–168.
Shenhav E. 1991. Shuni – 1989. ESI 9:130.