Levant - Central

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Bronze & Iron Age AkkoMBA Akko Aphek - AntipatrisAzorBet SheanBeth SheanTel Beth SheanBeth YerahBeth Yerah/al-Sinnabra/Philoteria Caesarea Maritima DorTel DorTel Dothan Europos-DuraGerizimGilgalTell Hazor Jaffa / Yafo / Joppa Tel Megadim Megiddo Tel MorNahariyaTel NamiPeqi'in CaveProtohistoric Tel QashishQasrinTell QudadiSamariaSareptaSepphoris Sha'ar HagolanShechem / Tel BalatahTel el-WawiyatYoqne'am

Bronze & Iron Age Akko (Aaron J. Brody, 1997)

The multi-period site of Tel Akko is located on the northern Mediterranean coast of Israel at a confluence of ancient trade routes along both sea and land. As a gateway city, Akko was central in connecting northern Palestine to exchange networks stretching overseas to the Aegean, Cyprus, and the Egyptian Delta, and overland from Egypt to Mesopotamia. More localized, dendritic networks also placed Akko as an outlet for regional products coming from the Akko plain, Galilee hills, and the Jezreel and Jordan Valleys. The city's strategic position, riverine sources of fresh water, and one of the few natural harbors along the southern Levantine littoral, made Tel Akko a natural site of continual habitation from the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age through the Hellenistic period.

MBA Akko (E. Marcus & A. Raban, 1999)

The "Sea" and "Harbor" Gates of Akko: Publication of Areas F and P

The goal of this project is to analyze and publish the stratigraphic data and finds from these remaining unprocessed areas of Tel 'Akko, and synthesize the results with these other areas, and in a broader eastern Mediterranean historical and archaeological context. The intra-site location of these specific MBA remains provide an unparalleled opportunity to study the urban evolution of a port site, the relationship of its components with both Syro-Meosopotamian urban antecedents and southern Levantine counterparts. The study of these, and later, remains, when synthesized with other scientific analyses, including the reconstructed paleogeography, will assess the long-term changes in the spatial relationship between the perimeter of this urban port site and its immediate coastal environs, and the site's role in interregional and maritime trade.

Aphek - Antipatris (Moshe Kochavi, Yuval Gadot, & Esther Yadin, 2000)

Aphek-Antipatris II: The Remains on the Acropolis (The Moshe Kochavi and Pirhiya Beck Excavations)

The purpose of the project is to publish the significant results of the excavations carried out by Tel Aviv University Institute of Archaeology at the Upper City of Aphek in the years 1976 - 1985. Tel Aphek is situated at the River Yarkon headwaters in the Sharon Plain of Israel. It was inhabited continuously through the last five thousand years, and is securely identified with Aphek-Antipatris of the ancient sources. Guarding the Aphek Pass of the Via Maris, the 30 acre site is one of the most important biblical sites in the country

Aphek - Antipatris (Moshe Fischer, 2010)

Aphek-Antipatris III: The Remains of the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Later Strata. The Moshe Kochavi and Pirhiya Beck Excavations

Aphek-Antipatris is located in Israel at 36 m. above sea-level near the springs of the Yarkon river, some 15 km. east of the Mediterranean sea and 2 km. west of the climbing ridges of the central hill country. Due to its geographic position and to historical circumstances the site had an important role throughout history from the Early Bronze age through the middle ages and the Ottoman period. Archaeological remains unearthed mainly by the Tel Aviv University Institute of Archaeology seem to underline indeed a sort of almost uninterrupted sequence of inhabitation but also some gaps in the latter which we try to explain in the publication proposed here. Remains of the ancient site of Tel Aphek-Antipatris extend over an area of about 120,000 m2. The first two volumes of the Aphek-Antipatris excavations dealt with the 'earlier' periods of the site, starting with the Early Bronze stratum and concluding with Iron Age remains.

Azor (David Ben-Shlomo, 2007)

The Azor Cemetery: Moshe Dothan’s Excavations, 1958 and 1960

The largest and probably most important excavation at Azor was conducted by Prof. Moshe Dothan during 1958 and 1960 on behalf of the Department of Antiquities of Israel. The excavation brought to light a large group of Iron Age I (1200-1000 BCE) tombs yielding abundant Philistine pottery and representing diverse burial customs. Preliminary analysis of the human bones indicated several skull-types, possibly representing a certain ethnic diversification as well. These include brachicephalic skull type, which are considered as typical of Alpine or Balkanic populations. Therefore, this is, as yet, the most extensive evidence for Philistine funerary customs in Philistia. Such evidence could be now integrated with other aspects of material culture retrieved from the Philistine cities sites of Ashdod, Ashkelon and Ekron, in which the Iron Age cemeteries have not yet been found.

Bet Shean (Yoram Tsafrir, 2010)

Excavations at Bet Shean, Vol. 3: The Street of the Monuments and Vol. 4: The Hippodrome/Amphitheater and its Surroundings

Bet Shean, known in the Roman and Byzantine periods as Scythopolis and in the Islamic period as Baysan, is located in the eastern Jezreel valley. Scythopolis was the largest and most important city in northern Israel. In the Byzantine period it was nominated as the capital of the Province of Second Palestine. The major excavations of Bet Shean were carried out by teams of the Hebrew University and the Israel Antiquities Authority. The excavation was carried throughout the year (as dictated by the necessity to solve the severe problem of unemployment in modern Bet Shean) during 1986-1996 (with a small-scale continuation during 1997-2000). It was the largest archaeological project carried out in Israel at that time.

Beth Shean (Amihai Mazar & Nava Panitz-Cohen, 2005)

Excavations at Tel Beth-Shean, 1989-1996, Volume III: The 13th - 11th centuries BCE (Areas S and N)

Tel Beth Shean is located in the Beth Shean Valley, a region of prime historic importance in northern Israel, due to its auspicious geographic location at the juncture of the major north-south route through the Jordan Valley and the main east-west route leading from the coast inland, by way of the Jezreel Valley. Rich agricultural land and numerous springs enhance the appeal of this region for human settlement, since the 6th millennium BCE until modern times. The rich architectural remains and artifacts, found in secure stratigraphic context, that date mostly to the period of the 20th Egyptian Dynasty garrison in Areas S and N, have vast and virtually unique potential for illuminating this period, particularly the complexity of interaction between Egyptians and Canaanites, as well as other ethnic entities such as Sea Peoples, in this period of shifting geo-political alliances that characterized the transition from the Late Bronze to the Iron Age.

Tel Beth Shean (Amihai Mazar, 2008)

Excavations at Tel Beth-Shean, 1989-1996, Volume IV: The Fourth and Third Millennia BCE

Extensive surveys have emphasized the intensity of settlement over the millennia. Beth-Shean was a central site that was occupied almost uninterruptedly from the 4th millennium BCE to the Byzantine Period. Within this long-lived sequence, of paramount importance was the period of the third millennium BCE, the Early Bronze Age and the Intermediate Bronze Age (=EBIV). A large building dating to the Early Bronze Age Ib exposed in Area M contained several phases, with the earliest ending in a severe destruction, yielding a rich collection of finds. It seems that this was a public building that function as a collection and distribution center for agricultural produce in the region. Study of this building will shed light on the nature of the process of urbanization. Following the end of occupation of this building, the site remained unoccupied until the Early Bronze Age III, remains of which were exposed in Areas M and R. These remains included a large amount of locally produced Khirbet Kerak Ware, affording an opportunity to conduct an in-depth study of the social context of the production and distribution of this important pottery group. The gap identified at Beth-Shean in the Early Bronze Age II was also noted at nearby sites and warrants further understanding. A rather fleeting occupation level with floor surfaces, pottery and copper objects dating to the Intermediate Bronze Age was uncovered in Area R and joined with the finds made by the University of Pennsylvania in the Northern Cemetery of Beth-Shean, sheds new light on the nature of occupation following the demise of urbanization at the end of the Early Bronze Age in this region.

Beth Yerah (Raphael Greenberg, 2001)

Publication of the Excavations at Tel Bet Yerah (Khirbet Al-Karak): Bar-Adon 1949-55, Ussishkin 1967, Eisenberg 1981, Yogev 1985-86

Tel Bet Yerah (Khirbet al-Karak) is one of the largest Early Bronze Age mounds in Palestine. With up to eight meters of stratigraphic accumulation and a location on a major interregional crossroads, it is arguably the most important town of third millennium BCE Canaan. Some 15 different excavators have conducted upwards of 2 0 excavation seasons at the site. These have uncovered fortifications, a gateway, houses, and public structures representing the entire Early Bronze Age I-III sequence, as well as an orthogonally planned Hellenistic-period settlement. The site is considered one of the focal points of early Canaanite urbanization, and a type-site for the Early Bronze III "Khirbet Kerak" culture.

Beth Yerah / al-Sinnabra / Philoteria (Raphael Greenberg, 2008)

Tel Bet Yerah — The Hellenistic Town of Philoteria and the Early Islamic Remains of Al-Sinnabra

Ceramic and other finds of the 3rd-2nd centuries BCE were abundant in this settlement, and some houses had remains of decorated wall plaster. The Early Islamic remains—only recently identified as such by D. Whitcomb of the Oriental Institute—consist of a series of large structures and a fortified enclosure and bath-house excavated in the northern quadrant of the mound. None of these remains has been published beyond a cursory preliminary description. The proposed research will build on our previous archival efforts, allowing us to concentrate on the actual processing of the material. A two-year project is envisioned, headed by the PI, and benefiting from the expertise of classical period consultant Dr Oren Tal and of PhD candidate Taufik Da'adle.

Beth Yerah (J. David Schloen, 2003)

Excavations of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago at Beth Yerah (Khirbet el-Kerak) and Nahal Tabor in Israel

Beth Yerah was inhabited during the pre-urban and urban phases of the Early Bronze Age (EB I-III; ca. 3500-2250 s.c.E.), attaining a size of some 20 ha within a massive 8m-thick fortification. It is an important type site for these periods and has given its name to the distinctive "Khirbet Kerak Ware" ceramic tradition that originated in Anatolia and is the hallmark of the EB III period in Palestine. Beth Yerah's location on Lake Kinneret at the nexus of major travel routes and contrasting environmental zones made it a nodal point, both economically and politically, and contributed to its prominence as an early urban center dominating the region. The site was abandoned after the collapse of urban society that ended the EB III period (ca. 2250 B.c.E.) and was not reoccupied until the Hellenistic period, after which it continued in use until the early Islamic period.

Caesarea Maritima (Kenneth Holum, 2007)

The Combined Caesarea Expeditions, Final Report: The Temple Platform and the Inner Harbor

Above abandoned Straton's Tower, a small Hellenistic city of the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C.E., King Herod the Great (d. 4 B.C.E.) founded Caesarea 22-10/9 B.C.E. naming it for the Roman emperor Caesare Augustus. In 6 C.E. Caesarea became headquarters of the Roman governors of Judaea, later Palestine, and it remained provincial capital throughout the period of Roman and Byzantine rule. After the Muslim conquest in 640, the city declined, but a smaller Muslim town flourished from the 7th century through the 11th. In 1101 the Crusaders conquered the Muslim town, and despite vicissitudes Caesarea survived as center of a Crusader principality until 1265. Destroyed by the Egyptian Mamluks in 1287, the site lay virtually abandoned until resettled by Muslim refugees from Bosnia in the 19th century. Despite rich evidence from all periods, Caesarea long remained underpublished. An exception was the Caesarea Ancient Harbour Excavation Project (CAHEP) that in the 1980s explored the celebrated harbor Sebastos that Herod had built when he founded Caesarea. In 1988 Kenneth G. Holum and Avner Raban joined forces in the Combined Caesarea Expeditions (CCE) to continue exploration of the harbor under water and of the now landlocked harbor basins, the harbor quays, and related harbor installations (area I). Raban and Holum also excavated on land the Temple Platform (area TP) and its retaining walls (area Z). On this artificial platform, adjacent to the harbor, Herod had positioned a grandiose pagan temple to the gods Roma and Augustus. CCE excavations ending in 2000 recovered instructive remains of Herod's temple and harbor and even more plentiful evidence for the harbor's later history, for an Early Christian Church that replaced Herod's temple when Caesarea became Christian, for a medieval dwelling quarter that extended over both the landlocked Inner Harbor and the Temple Platform, and for monumental courtyard buildings on the Temple Platform that probably functioned as cloisters for the Knights Templar who dominated Caesarea in the 13th century.

Tel Dor (Ilan Sharon & Elizabeth Bloch-Smith, 2004)

Publication of the Tel Dor Area B Iron Age Fortifications

Tel Dor (Kh. el-Bud), a large mound located on Israel's Mediterranean coast about 30 km. south of Haifa, is identified with D-jr of the Egyptian sources, Biblical Dor, and Dor/Dora of Greek and Roman historians. The documented history of the site begins in the Late Bronze Age (though the town was founded in the Middle Bronze Age) and ends with the Napoleonic campaigns.Excavation of the site between 1980 and 2000, directed by Professor Ephraim Stern of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University, exposed inter alia extensive remains of an Iron Age urban settlement. Previous and on-going research has demonstrated that the Iron Age occupation at Dor is crucial for the resolution of several controversial issues including the circumstances of the Late Bronze-Iron Age transition, the identification of non-Philistine "Sea Peoples," the emergence of Phoenician civilization, the chronology of the Iron Age in the Levant, and the nature of Assyrian interaction with the Phoenicians.
The Iron Age phases of Area B 1, including the city gates and fortification wall on the east side of the mound, are the subject of this proposal. Area B yielded three superimposed fortification walls, the last of which had two superimposed city-gates in it. These fortifications, and adjacent livinghorizons span the period from the beginning of the Iron I period, through the Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian eras.


Tel Dor (Ephraim Stern, 2008)

Excavations at Dor: Figures, Cult Objects and Amulets (1980-2000 Seasons)

Tel Dor is the largest and most prominent tell on the northern coast of Israel. It served as the main port of the region up to the time of Herod the Great. The excavation area for which I am seeking the assistance of the White-Levy Program is Area G. The excavation of this area, located at the center of the tell, was completed over a 14-year period. It serves as a key area for understanding the various phases of the Iron Age I in the northern part of the Land of Israel. Collapse levels dated to the end of the Late Bronze Age were preserved here, with several Iron I settlement layers covering them. These containing unique finds for the study of the special and little-known material culture of the northern Sea Peoples. The findings, I believe, will make it possible to identify the cultural characteristics of the Northern Sea Peoples in their other settlements. Above these levels were uncovered rich settlement layers of the period of the Israelite Kingdom dating from the 10th century BCE to the conquest of the city by the Assyrians. Above these levels are found important remains of the Assyrian and Persian periods and dense settlement strata filled with finds from the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods. These unique findings will be presented in detail in the planned final excavation report. This excavation area was excavated under my direction and I am responsible for the full scientific publication on behalf of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Exploration Society.

Tel Dothan (Daniel M. Master & John Monson, 2002)

The Excavations at Tel Dothan

Tel Dothan is a large site located ten kilometers southwest of Jenin. Joseph Free's excavations uncovered an extraordinarily rich city which was occupied continuously from the Neolithic through Hellenistic periods. Major finds include a massive Early Bronze age fortification system, a Middle Bronze age city with citadel and fortifications, and an Iron Age II storage complex. The excavations at Tel Dothan uncovered a rich collection of material from the Neolithic to the Islamic, with particular focus on the Bronze and Iron Ages. Very few sites have the range of finds that allows them to address long-term geographic and social question.

Europos-Dura (Pierre Leriche, 2008)

Discovered in March 1920 by British soldiers, the ancient town of Europos-Dura has been explored by three successive Expeditions. This work has evidenced that only a small part of monuments discovered at this time has been properly published. This fact was due to the World War that broke up the Dura-Europos American team, to Rostovtzeff's death in 1952 and to the abundance of field results. Moreover, the historical informations and conclusions that have been elaborated on the ground of the Yale Expedition field work were dependent of the scientific context of the Thirties and Forties and, of course, they could not take in account the considerable development of the research about Hellenistic and Roman Orient during the last half century. The purpose of the project presented here is to obtain a help for publication of new historical synthesis and of unpublished, practically unknown, monuments which have been excavated by Rostovtzeff's Expedition.

Gerizim (W.J. Bennett and R. Bull, 1998)

Tell er-Ras, Publication of Archaeological Materials and Data from Mt. Gerizim, West Bank

Tell er Ras is the name given to the peak which forms the northern extremity of Mount Gerizim. This portion of Mount Gerizim rises abruptly some 300m above the floor of the narrow pass between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. The area encompassed by this site measures ca. 120m by 80m. When the initial investigations at this site were undertaken political control of this area was exercised by the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan. Effective political control of the area passed into the hands of the State of Israel in 1968. The vast preponderance of the archaeological record is associated with the construction and use of the Roman temple built during the reign of Hadrian. This structure (ca. 2 1 m by 14m) included a three-stepped stylobate, pronaos, naos, Aswan granit columns and Corinthian capitals. This tetrastyle, prostyle, pseudoperiptal temple was centered on a platform measuring ca. 65m by 44m. The platform, constructed of earth, rubble and cement, was encompassed by a rectangle of stone walls 9m high and 2m thick.

Gilgal (Ofer Bar-Yosef, 1999)

The Excavations at Gilgal I - an early Neolithic site in the Jordan Valley

The aim of this project is to bring to final publication the architectural remains, lithic and faunal assemblages excavated by the late Dr. Tamar Noy (Israel Museum) at Gilgal I, an early Neolithic village site in the Jordan Valley. The contexts of this early Neolithic site, radiocarbon-dated to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (=PPNA) are comparable to the basal Neolithic layers of Jericho. The excavations produced a wealth of lithic assemblages, somewhat limited amounts of faunal remains and a series of oval houses. In addition, large quantities of carbonized plant remains were retrieved, but the detailed studies of these will be conducted under the supervision of M. E. Kislev (Bar-Ilan University), in a project funded by the Israel Science Foundation. The current proposal is dedicated solely towards the detailed lithic studies.

Tell Hazor (Amnon Ben-Tor, 2009)

Hazor VI. The 1990 - 2009 Excavations. The Iron Age
Hazor VII. The 1990 - 2012 Excavations. The Bronze Age

A wide scale archaeological investigation of Tel-Hazor in northern Israel (Grid Points: South-West 204300-1269500; North-East 202500-1268600), the most important biblical site in Israel, was carried out by the late Yigael Yadin of the Hebrew University during the 1950's and 60's. The results obtained by the excavations have a bearing on almost every aspect of Biblical Archaeology, be it history, chronology, ancient architecture, pottery typology, art history, cult, to name but a few. No wonder that the results and conclusions arrived at by Yadin's expedition aroused great interest in the scholarly world, resulting in a vast amount of publications, some accepting others rejecting them.

Jaffa / Yafo / Joppa (Orit Tsuf, 2004)

Ancient Jaffa from the Persian to the Byzantine Period. Kaplan Excavations (1955–1981)

Old Jaffa is built upon a cliff, at the foot of which the ancient port stretches out, protected by a rocky reef. In Arabic the city is called Yafa el-'Abqa ("Old Jaffa") or al-Qal'a ("The Fortress"). At Tel Yafo (the archaeological mound at Jaffa), a number of levels of inhabitation were uncovered, the remnants of which were preserved over several extensive areas. Continuity of settlement ranges from the 18th century BC into the present, concomitant with the changing political situations through the ages. Between 1955 and 1989 excavations were carried out at Jaffa by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Museum of Antiquities in cooperation with the Israel Antiquities Authority. These were supervised by Dr. Yaakov Kaplan and succeeded in uncovering parts of Jaffa's history from the Middle Bronze to the Muslim periods, highlighting the important role of the ancient site since the Biblical Time.

Jaffa / Yafo / Joppa (Aaron Burke, 2008)

Middle Bronze Age to Iron II (ca. 1900–539 BCE) Stratigraphy and Artifacts

Tel Yafo, ancient Jaffa, is situated south of the modern city of Tel Aviv on the coast of Israel between Caesarea and Gaza about 60 km northwest of Jerusalem. In addition to being one of the most prominent tells along the coast and a key port, Jaffa features a sprawling lower city. Thus, as a major port along the coast of the southern Levant with nearly continuous occupation from the Middle Bronze Age on Jaffa joins a select number of Canaanite sites that shared extensive connections with distant maritime commercial centers throughout the Mediterranean.

Tel Megadim (Samuel R. Wolff, 2003)

Final report of the 1967-1969 Tel Megadim (Tell Sahar) Excavations

Tel Megadim (officially registered as Tell Sahar) is located on the Carmel coast of Israel, 2 km. north of Atlit. Broshi's excavations concentrated on the uppermost Persian period stratum, yielding one of the most complete town plans known in Israel for that period. Wolff's nine-month salvage excavation sectioned the tell, filling out the occupational history of the site and revealing significant remains from the Early, Intermediate (EB IV), Middle and Late Bronze Ages, and the Persian and Byzantine periods. Unfortunately, both excavations have produced only brief preliminary reports until now. The results from both of these excavations confirm the maritime orientation of the site, especially for the EB, MB, LB, and Persian period. As the only excavated coastal site in northern Israel, it provides evidence for a stopping point on the Egypt–Byblos run in the EB. The finds from the Middle Bronze Age, along with 14C results, contribute to the discussion of the synchronization of chronologies in the eastern Mediterranean. Relations with the interior were also of primary importance. In the EB I, for example, ceramic analysis established that there existed a close cultural relationship between its inhabitants and those from Qiryat 'Ata, Tel Qashish, 'En Assawir, 'En Shadud and Megiddo. The EB IV horizon provides a rare opportunity to characterize the mode of subsistence (by means of animal bone analysis), and an analysis of the artifacts and skeletal remains from the two dozen MB tombs contributes to our knowledge of burial practices, population characteristics, social stratification and trade relations in that period.

Megiddo (Eliot Braun, 2008)

Early Megiddo on the East Slope (The "Megiddo Stages")

The city as an institution has its roots in prehistoric societies and Megiddo (Tell Mutesselim) is arguably the largest and certainly one of the earliest urbanized settlements in the southern Levant. Although central to any discussion of the Early Bronze Age of the region, the 'East Slope' excavation of the University of Chicago's expedition (otherwise known as the 'Megiddo Stages') was published only in a cursory volume: Notes on the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Pottery of Megiddo by Engberg and Shipton (1934), with schematic illustrations. Lack of more complete information has unfortunately, allowed not a little misrepresentation of the archaeological record of the site. This project is aimed at completing the excavators' account based on their unpublished field data and a sizable collection of artifacts retained and deposited in Jerusalem and Chicago. By filling this lacuna in available information it will complement and integrate the 'East Slope' with contemporary levels excavated on the high mound, taking into account research by the late Douglas Esse and recent excavations by Tel Aviv University.

Megiddo VII (Anabel Zarzecki-Peleg, 2005)

The Excavations of the Yadin Expedition at Megiddo

Tel Megiddo is a key site for biblical archaeology research. His intrinsically essentialness derives from his central status in the past and from the rich material discovered at the site, specially during the excavations conducted by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago in the twenties and thirties. His strategic position, by the exit of Wadi 'Arah (modern Nahal 'Iron) at the Jezreel Valley (Israel), and two permanent springs at the bottom and to the north of the Tell, made available the continuous settlement of Megiddo for long periods. The many sources referring to Megiddo, including the Egyptian and biblical ones, are a good testimony to his high position.

Megiddo VI (Timothy P. Harrison, 1997)

Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Identity in an Early Iron Age Levantine Town: A Study of Megiddo Stratum VI

The extensive history of excavations at Megiddo (Tell el-Mutesellim) attests to the site's cultural and historical significance and effectively chronicles the disciplinary development of archaeological research in the region. Virtually every generation has left its mark, and a vast portion of the site was excavated in the process. This is particularly true of Stratum VI. While this report is concerned primarily with the results of the Oriental Institute excavations, any attempt to reconstruct the stratum, and the cultural and historical information that it contains, must incorporate the results of other projects that have excavated at the site along with the aim of assembling a composite record of those projects that have produced published remains of Stratum VI. Ever since its discovery, there has been considerable debate and speculation both about the cultural character of Stratum VI, and the cause and date of its destruction. Whatever the precise historical case, it is clear nevertheless that Stratum VI represents the initial Iron Age (or Iron I) settlement at Megiddo.

Tel Mor (Tristan J. Barako, 2000)

Tel Mor: A Late Bronze Age Egyptian Outpost in Southern Coastal Canaan

Tel Mor is a small site located on the coast of Israel just north of the ancient city of Ashdod. For two seasons (1959-60) Moshe Dothan directed excavations at Tel Mor and uncovered twelve strata of settlement - many of which were separated by thick destruction layers - dating from the Middle Bronze Age to the Hellenistic period. A series of fortresses dominated the site during the Late Bronze and early Iron Ages (_ Strata IX-V). Based on architectural features of the earlier fortresses and on the associated finds - especially Egyptian pottery and scarabs - from throughout the series, the excavators concluded that Tel Mor functioned as an Egyptian outpost along the Via Maris during the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and beginning of the Twentieth Dynasties. Aside from short preliminary reports and encyclopedia entries the Tel Mor excavations have not been published.

Nahariya (Sharon Zuckerman, 2007)

The Canaanite Temple of Nahariya is an important cultic site from the Second Millennium BC. It is often cited as a unique coastal site dedicated to the cult of Ashera of the Sea, forming an important locus of ritual activity in a period of ports emergence and intensive maritime trade. Its cultic assemblage is compared to assemblages of contemporary religious precincts, especially that of Megiddo. The fact that the Nahariya temple was never fully published hinders full appreciation of its contribution to the study of various aspects of the Canaanite urban culture of the first half of the second millennium BC. The Nahariya temple is a crucial case for in-depth study of cultic, industrial and commercial activity, during the formative period of Canaanite city states in the southern Levant.

Tel Nami (Michal Artzy, 1999)

Final Publication of Late Bronze IIb from Tel Nami: 1986-1992 excavations
Vol. I: Sanctuary, Cult and Metal Recycling
Vol. II: Cemetery and International Connections

The excavations of Tel Nami and its environs, in Israel, exhibit contacts with the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus, coastal Syria, coastal Anatolia, coastal Egypt, Crete and the Aegean and during two main periods in the 2nd Millennium BC, the Middle Bronze Ila and the Late Bronze Ilb periods. Its curious position, between Dor and Athlit, barely 4 kms west of the Carmel Ridge, initiated a new outlook at the East West route, from sea to the desert, during the site's duration. During the later part of the 13th century BCE Nami served as a meeting point of the maritime routes and the terrestrial passage, via Megiddo and Beth Shean, to Trans-Jordan (Sa'idiyah, Umeiri?) and beyond thus replacing, for a short time, Tell Abu-Hawam and the North Carmel route. The limited agricultural hinterland accentuates Nami's use as an entrepôt to sites further afield. Likely contacts to Ras Shamra-Ugarit, Cyprus and the Hittites as their gateway to Megiddo following the "Peace of Kadesh" is borne out by the northern orientation of the material goods. The international nature of the inhabitants or frequenters of the site is suggested by remains found in the confines of a necropolis and multi-cultural cultic area in which traces of metal re-cycling were detected. Metal ingots found in the sea in the vicinity of the site and an unusual large number of incense burning paraphernalia, metal and ceramic, point to economic pursuits in the site. A publication of Late Bronze IIb Nami in Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology would present data from a coastal site in which "East-West" connections are well established. The 13th century, a period of wide dispersion, interconnections and cultural interactions at the end of the Bronze International Age and its enigmatic finale is well represented on the site and would be of use to those interested in "Sea Peoples" migrations and thus Philistine settlement in the southeastern Mediterranean.

Peqi'in Cave (Zvi Gal, 2006)

The Peqi'in Cave – A Chalcolithic Burial Cave, Upper Galilee, Israel

Peqi'in is located within the heart of the Upper Galilee, Israel (map ref. 18135 26440), on the margins of Mt. Meiron, the highest mountain west of the Jordan River. It is not proximate to any other major Chalcolithic site. The cave was discovered by chance and its finds comprise the richest assemblage from a Chalcolithic burial site ever found in Israel, and include several unique characteristics. Indeed, no synthesis of the proto-historic periods in the Levant can be achieved nowadays without a consideration of the finds from the Peqi'in cave. The significance of the Peqi`in cave lies in the opportunity it presents to reappraise various aspects of the Chalcolithic period. It demonstrates the hitherto unknown presence of this culture in the Galilean hill country, and the possible connections that this region had with territories to the north. While the study of the Chalcolithic culture has focused to a great extent on central and southern Israel, these regional cultures are well presented, for the first time, in one homogeneous assemblage that shades new light on the inter-relations among them. The burial customs revealed in the cave offer new perspectives of the social structure and spiritual life of the Chalcolithic people.

Protohistoric (Avi J. Gopher, 2005)

Publishing the J. Kaplan Protohistoric excavations in Israel

This grant is requested for the publication of a book summarizing excavations of the late Dr. J. Kaplan in Protohistoric sites in Israel in the 1950-1970s. J. Kaplan has excavated (amongst many other sites) a series of Late Neolithic (Pottery Neolithic), Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age (Protohistoric) sites in the Tel Aviv area and in the northern part of Israel, none of which were published in a final report. The main objective of this project is to produce a final report and summary monograph presenting J. Kaplan's work in Protohistoric sites and an updated, wider view of the Pottery Neolithic as seen from J. Kaplan's work and the accumulated data since. The monograph will include chapters on the different sites and their finds by the applicants and some expert colleagues (archaeozoology, archaeobotany, archaeomaterials etc.).

Tel Qashish (Amnon Ben-Tor and Sharon Zuckerman, 2000)

Tel Qashish. A Village in the Jezreel Valley. Final Report of the Archaeological Excavations (1978-1987)

Tel Qashish (Tell Qasis in Arabic) is located on the northern bank of the Kishon River, where a bend in the stream encloses the site on two sides. The settlement thus occupied an excellent strategic position on one of Kishon fords, in close proximity to Tel Yoqne'am some 2km away, the major site in the region, on which Tel Qashish was most probably dependent. The elongated mound (ca. 270 x 160 m) covers an area of about 10.7 acres (ca. 43 dunams) at the base of the tel. The western half is about 5 m higher than the eastern half. The mound slopes steeply on all sides, except on the northeast, where the approach road to the site was probably located. Aharoni suggested that the site should be identified with Ḥelkath, No. 112 on the list of Thutmose III (Aharoni 1959:119-122, 1979:163). Another possibility, which the authors prefer, is to identify it with Dabbesheth (Josh 19:11).

Qasrin (Anne Killebrew, 2007)

Ancient Qasrin: A Late Antique and Medieval Village in the Golan

Qasrin is one of dozens of villages — Jewish, Christian and pagan — that appear in the Golan Heights beginning in the 3rd – 4th centuries CE. These settlements, often identified by visible remains of synagogues and churches, increase in number during the Byzantine period. Since 1967, several Byzantine period synagogues and churches have been excavated in the Golan Heights. What distinguishes Qasrin from other sites is the extensive excavation of the 4th – 8th century CE Jewish village that provides previously undocumented insights into domestic architecture, daily life and economic realities along the fringes of the Roman and Byzantine Empires. The Qasrin village excavations exposed three domestic structures, or insulae, that housed extended multi-generation families. The excavations are noteworthy for the careful attention and documentation of all stratified remains (spanning the modern period through the Middle Bronze Age) and field methodology that included a 100% sift of all debris removed from the site. The result is a near total recovery of faunal remains and one of the most complete assemblages of coins from stratified contexts in Israel today. An ethnological investigation of traditional Druze villages in the northern Golan and experimental archaeology studies conducted during the reconstruction of the village compliment the archaeological findings.

Tell Qudadi (Alexander Fantalkin & Oren Tal, 2004)

Tell Qudadi: An Iron Age II Fortress on the Central Mediterranean Coast of Israel

Tell Qudadi (also known as Tell esh-Shuna [and often erroneously referred to as Tell Kudadi]) is a medium-sized mound located within the city limits of Tel Aviv on the northern bank of the Yarqon estuary of the Mediterranean. The mound rises about 8 m above sea level. Trial excavations at the site were carried out as early as 1936 under the direction of P.L.O. Guy on behalf of the British Mandatory Department of Antiquities. Substantial remains of two fortresses of the central courtyard type that date to the Iron Age were discovered.

Samaria (Claudia E. Suter, 2005)

Ivories from Samaria: Complete Catalogue, Stylistic Classification, Iconographical Analysis, Cultural-Historical Evaluation

Ca. 12,000 pieces of polished or carved ivory were excavated at Samaria, Israel, between 1908 and 1935. They came from the area of the Iron Age palace and can be dated to the 9th to 8th centuries BCE. Despite being in a rather fragmentary state of preservation, the ivories from Samaria are of great significance for the cultural history of Israel, as well as for the still problematic classification of first millennium BCE Levantine ivory carvings. Their attribution to particular kingdoms is difficult, because the vast majority of the production was not found where it was made, but at Nimrud, the Assyrian capital at that time, where to it came as war booty or tribute. The collection from Samaria is the largest after that from Nimrud, and the only substantial one from a Levantine site. Even on very small fragments, motif and engraving technique can usually be identified and stylistically classified.

Sarepta (Amelie N. Beyhum, 2001)

The industrial role of Sarepta (Sarafand, Lebanon) during the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age

Although only a relatively small area within the site of Sarepta (Sarafand, Lebanon) has been excavated, the publication of specialized use of the site for industrial enterprises would contribute to Phoenician studies, the archaeology of the east Mediterranean and archeo-metallurgical studies. Unlike many other sites in the east Mediterranean, Sarepta suffered no destruction or abandonment c.1200. Rather, one observes a peaceful transitional period from the Late Bronze Age into the Iron Age, in which the kilns and workshops at the site continued to function.

Sepphoris (Tom McCollough, 2008)

The Jewish historian Josephus described the ancient city of Sepphoris as the "jewel of the Galilee." The excavations of this city have uncovered a truly beautiful city founded in the early decades of the first century C.E. The city had many features of a Roman urban plan to include a theater that could seat 4,000. Beginning in 1983 and continuing to 1987, the University of South Florida Excavations at Sepphoris opened eight areas around the foundation and withing the cavea of this theatre. The prupose of these excavations was not only to recover the architecture of this important Galilean theater but also to establish a date of founding, possible expansion and termination of use. The final report on the excavations of the theater (Field II of the USF Excavations) will work from a detailed stratigraphical analysis and will include ceramic plates and anumismatic analysis as well as a report on carbon 16 dating of plaster and mortar samples taken from the outer walls of the theater stage and cavea.

Sha'ar Hagolan (Yosef Garfinkel, 2009)

Sha'ar Hagolan Vol. III. Symbolic Dimensions of the Yarmukian Culture: Canoization in Neolithic Art

Sha'ar Hagolan Vol. IV. The Ground-stone Industry : Stone Working at the Dawn of Pottery Production in the Southern Levant

This grant proposal is for the analysis and preparation for final publication of the data collected during my 11 years of excavation (1989-90, 1996-2004) at the 8,000-year-old Neolithic site of Sha'ar Hagolan. The site is located in the central Jordan Valley of Israel, 1.5 miles south of the Sea of Galilee, and is the type-site for the Yarmukian culture, which occupied large parts of Israel, Jordan and Lebanon. The excavations have opened new horizons for our understanding of the Neolithic period, but also have more far-reaching implications for the entire ancient Near East in terms of history of architecture, urban planning, art history and cult. The Pottery Neolithic period, previously considered to be an era of decline, has proved to be a time of cultural evolution in the Levant.

Shechem (E.F. Campbell, Jr., L.E. Toombs, & E. Rachman, 1997)

Late Bronze Age Pottery of Tell Balatah (Shechem)

Between 1957 and 1968, the Drew-McCormick (Joint) Archaeological Expedition recovered LBA remains from nine of the eleven fields they excavated at Shechem (Bull et al., 1965; Bull & Campbell, 1968; Campbell, 1960b; Campbell et al., 1971; Seger, 1972; Toombs & Wright, 1961; Toombs & Wright, 1963). The majority of the LBA material recovered was drawn from Field XIII (a 13 x Urn area just northeast of the temple complex). Systematic excavation of that field revealed a tightly stratified sequence of LBA levels and produced an enticing assemblage of pottery for analysis. The analysis and publication of the LBA pottery from Shechem will allow us to deepen our understanding of local developments in ceramics during the LBA. A secure sequence of pottery types from Shechem will enhance our understanding of trends in material culture throughout this period and will give us an opportunity to compare material evidence of the LBA occupation of the hill country with other regional assemblages. These tasks and their repercussions should prove essential in estimating the effect, variable or otherwise, that Egyptian policy had over the hill country and the whole of Canaan during the LBA.

Tel el-Wawiyat (Beth Nakhai & J.P. Dessel, 2003)

Tell el-Wawiyat Excavation Project

This grant is for the final publication report of Tell el-Wawiyat, excavated by Beth Alpert Nakhai, J.P. Dessel and Bonnie L. Wisthoff in 1986 and 1987. Tell el-Wawiyat is a 0.4hectare mound located in the Bet Netofah Valley in Israel's Lower Galilee. It was selected for excavation in order to explore Bronze and Iron Age village society, and to redress the urban bias of archaeology in the southern Levant. Wawiyat was occupied over a long period of time, making it one of a special kind of village, which has been neglected by most archaeologists and is poorly understood. Tell el-Wawiyat provides a unique vantage point from which to explore this critical junction in the history of the southern Levant from a rural perspective.

Yoqne'am (Amnon Ben-Tor, 2000)

Yoqne'am II - The Iron Age and the Persian Period. Final Report of the Archaeological Excavations (1977-1988)

Yoqne'am III - The Middle and Late Bronze Ages. Final Report of the Archaeological Excavations (1977-1988)

The Western Jezreel Valley, the focus of the Jokne'am Regional Project, is triangular shaped and extends over an area of approximately 120 sq. km. The three points of the triangle are the ancient sites of Megiddo, Shimron and Tell 'Amr. In this region there are three sites whose dimensions exceed 50 dunams - Shimron, Megiddo and Yokne'am (Joqne'am): these are undoubtedly the major cities in the region. The last two sites guarded the northern exits of the two important passes through the Carmel Ridge, the 'Ara Pass (Megiddo) and the MilÎ Pass (Yokne'am), connecting the Via Maris and the Jezreel Valley. From here extend two major international routes: one from Megiddo leading north-northeast via Hazor to Damascus and beyond, and the other, running from Yokne'am to the north-northwest, via Acco to Phoenicia and beyond. The combination of fertile soil, abundant water, excellent climate and important local and international routes resulted in the establishment of a large number of settlements of a variety of sizes which dotted the valley.