‘Atiqot 86 (2016)
) Systems from the Early Islamic Period in the ‘Arava
(with contributions by Nili Liphschitz and Yoel Wiesel, and Moshe Sharon)
(Hebrew, pp. 1*–81*; English, pp. 113–116)
Keywords: Early Islamic Period, falaj, galleria, chain-wells, karez, fogara, khetara, chronology, terminology, technology, typology, Mahesh Ware, steatite vessels, economy, numismatics, agriculture, epigraphy, Greek inscriptions, Arabic inscriptions
systems operated mainly in arid and semi-arid regions to obtain ground water by means of gravitation. This sophisticated technology was identified at three sites in the ‘Arava—‘En ‘Avrona, ‘En Yotvata and ‘En Marzev—and provided water all year round for household and irrigation needs. Excavations at these sites exposed agricultural farms, comprising a
system, a reservoir, a cultivated area and rectangular structures. Finds include pottery, stone and glass vessels, metal finds, coins and epigraphical finds, as well as organic material, botanical remains,
shells and faunal remains, dating to the Early Islamic period (late seventh–ninth centuries CE). This date for the introduction of the
-system technology in Israel is in accordance with the evidence from other countries in the Levant.
The Glass Finds from ‘En Marzev
(Hebrew, pp. 83*–98*; English, p. 117)
Keywords: Early Islamic period, technology, industry, glass workshop
The glass finds from ‘En Marzev, mostly free-blown, were found alongside pottery, steatite vessels, coins and metal artifacts dating to the seventh–eighth centuries CE. The assemblage comprises bowls, bottles, oil lamps, a wineglass and several windowpane fragments. Also found were remains pointing to a local glass production: glass slags; fragments of the walls of a glass furnace; and two fragments of distorted vessels. The glass vessels date from the late Byzantine period, around 650 CE, to the first decades of the Abbasid period, c. 750–780 CE.
The Coins from ‘En ‘Avrona and ‘En Marzev
Donald T. Ariel and Ariel Berman
Keywords: Abbasid-Fatimid period, numismatics
Ten coins were retrieved from ‘En ‘Avrona, all of bronze; seven of them were identified. Six silver coins and a few coin fragments were found in excavations at ‘En Marzev, all roughly dating from the third quarter of the ninth to the second quarter of the eleventh centuries CE.
Textiles, Cordage and Fleece from ‘En ‘Avrona
Keywords: Early Islamic period, weaving techniques, economy, trade
Fragments of textile, cordage and fleece, in a very poor state of preservation, were retrieved from
‘En ‘Avrona. Most of the material was found in an archaeological context dated to the Early Islamic period (seventh–ninth centuries CE). The textiles are made of wool, linen and cotton; most of the cordage comprises threads made of cotton, wool, goat hair, mixed wool and goat hair fibers or date palm; the fleece fragments are made of wool and goat hair. Most of the textiles were apparently locally made, with the exception of cotton textiles, most likely imported from Yemen or India. The large quantity of fleece probably indicates that weaving took place on-site.
Textiles and Fleece from ‘En Marzev
Keywords: Early Islamic period, weaving techniques, economy, trade
The well-preserved textiles uncovered at ‘En Marzev are an important contribution to the study of textiles dating from the Early Islamic period (seventh–ninth centuries CE). The textiles, most of which are very simple, are made of wool, goat hair, linen and cotton. The linen textiles provide evidence for short-range import, either from Galilee or the Jordan Valley, while the Z-spun cottons were probably imported from India or Yemen. The most fascinating find is a cotton textile decorated with silk threads wrapped with silver strips. Ten tangles of woolen fibers found at the site might indicate that at least some spinning and weaving was carried out on-site.
A Lead Weight-Like Object from ‘En Marzev
Keywords: Early Islamic period, measuring, economy, trade
The lead object found in the excavations at ‘En Marzev is roughly cylindrical, with a flat top and bottom. It has a semicircular, copper or bronze hoop on top. The purpose of this object is hard to ascertain as its weight does not relate to any ancient Eastern Mediterranean weight system, and its form does not correspond to the usual form of ancient weights. It may have served as a weight for a variety of uses, e.g., on fishing lines and nets, or on looms.
Animal Bones from ‘En Marzev
Shlomo Hellwing and Nurit Feig
Keywords: Early Islamic period, archaeozoology, fauna, economy, diet
The bones retrieved from the Early Islamic building at ‘En Marzev were in a good state of preservation. The most abundant animal in the sample is the gazelle, followed by the horse, with a remarkably smaller amount of domesticated animals, such as sheep, goat and cattle. It seems that gazelles formed a main dietary component at this settlement, indicating that hunting played an important role there.
An Early Islamic Installation at Ramla
Keywords: Early Islamic period, Muslim, chronology, archaeozoology
An excavation at the Ramlod Interchange exposed a subterranean circular, plastered installation, with one course of its vaulted roof still extant and two rectangular openings. The fill in the upper part of the installation consisted of animal bones, pottery sherds and fragments of glass vessels, and in the lower part were complete pottery and glass vessels, roof tiles and ceramic tiles mixed with charcoal and animal bones. It seems that the assemblage was discarded into the pit between the second half of the eighth and the first half of the ninth centuries CE. The installation, built on the hill at the outskirts of the city, was apparently one of many cesspits discovered in Ramla and its vicinity.
An Umayyad Glass Assemblage from Ramla
Keywords: Early Islamic period, chronology, typology
A homogeneous assemblage of glass vessels was uncovered in the lower part of an installation (cesspit?) during excavations in the vicinity of Ramla. The assemblage included bowls and beakers, bottles, jugs, a jar, an oil lamp and a miniature spouted vessel, whose fabric, quality and workmanship are typical of the Umayyad period. The glass is mostly bluish green or greenish blue, without corrosion and weathering, and with very common, simple decoration. The importance of this glass group lies in its dating to the beginning of the Islamic Era, i.e., the first half of the eighth century CE or very shortly thereafter.
An Early Islamic-Period Structure on Danny Mass Street, Ramla
(Hebrew, pp. 99*–126*; English, pp. 118–119)
Keywords: Early Islamic period, chronology, typology, oil lamps, zoomorphic vessel, wood, metal
A salvage excavation within the boundaries of the ancient city of Ramla revealed four strata. The earliest, Stratum IV, comprised an earthen fill, containing potsherds—including imports from Egypt and China—stone and glass vessels, dating from the mid-eighth to the tenth centuries CE. Stratum III included three architectural phases: fragmentary remains of installations and a wall foundation (Phase IIIc); remains of a large building, which was erected upon three terraces (Phase IIIb); and an ashlar-built, paved circular installation (Phase IIIa). The finds from Stratum III date from the mid-eighth to the eleventh centuries CE, and include potsherds and animal bones. The building was probably built during the Abbasid period and used until the Fatimid period. Stratum II is mainly attested by robbery trenches and Mamluk-period potsherds. Stratum I was dated to the Ottoman period based on ceramic pipes.
Two Decorated Potsherds from the Islamic Period from Danny Mass Street, Ramla
(Hebrew, pp. 127*–128*; English, p. 120)
Keywords: Islamic period, Arabic, epigraphy, art, manufacture, production
Two decorated potsherds were unearthed: a stamped jar handle depicting a “cross” and part of a flask. The flask bears an Arabic inscription, which was dated, based on comparisons, to the thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE.
Glass Finds from the Abbasid–Fatimid Periods on Danny Mass Street, Ramla
Keywords: Early Islamic period, chronology, typology, glass production
The glass finds retrieved from Danny Mass Street, Ramla include common tablewares, luxury vessels and a mosaic-glass eye bead. They form a diagnostic assemblage spanning the late eighth–early eleventh centuries CE. This assemblage provides a new insight into the glass assemblage of the city during the Abbasid and Fatimid periods. The uniformity of fabric within the assemblage suggests that many of the vessels may have been produced in the same workshop.
Archaeozoological Finds from the Abbasid Period, from Danny Mass Street, Ramla
(Hebrew, pp. 129*–131*; English, p. 121)
Keywords: Early Islamic period, archaezoology, consumption, economy, religion
The excavation on Danny Mass Street, Ramla yielded faunal remains dating to the Early Islamic period, comprising domesticated, as well as wild animal bones. Pig bones found in the assemblage probably attest to the existence of a Christian population in the city.
A Mamluk-Period Settlement and Cemetery at Ge’alya, near Yavne
Keywords: Mamluk period, Ottoman period, cemetery, burial, primary burial, anthropology, Turcoman, ethnic groups, ghawarna, numismatics
Excavations east of Moshav Ge’alya uncovered a cemetery and a habitation site dating to the Mamluk period. Within the cemetery, four types of burial tombs, oriented in a general west–east axis with the deceased facing Mecca, were found. These were individual cist burials, which were covered with ceramic vessels that were used in place of covering slabs. The covering vessels belong to three well-known, Mamluk-period ceramic types (mid-thirteenth–early sixteenth centuries CE): bag-shaped jars, water lifting devices (
) and beehive containers. Other finds include meager glass finds, coins, iron horseshoes, square-sectioned iron nails, a bronze arrowhead, jewelry, spatulas, a buckle and a fragment of a two-sided bone comb. The remains excavated at Ge’alya were most probably part of a small village or farm in the agricultural hinterland of Yavne, and add important data to the ethnological picture of the region.
The Coins from Ge’alya
Keywords: Mamluk period, numismatics
Eight coins were unearthed, of which five copper
could be identified. All belong to the Mamluk period, and were used in daily transactions.
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