‘Atiqot 80 (2015)
An Israelite Basketry-Box Sealing from the Western Wall Plaza Excavations, Jerusalem
Keywords: iconography, art, lotus flower, sealing technology, Queen Atalya, Northern Kingdom of Israel, metal bezel
A clay sealing was retrieved from the Iron Age II building uncovered in the Western Wall Plaza excavations. It was identified as Israelite, based on typological and stylistic grounds, as well as on the geo-political distribution of such seals. The basketry-box sealing seems to have reached Judah either during the ninth century BCE, or in the hands of a refugee during the last decades of the eighth century BCE, between 850 and 722 BCE.
Iron Age and Second Temple-Period Remains at Ras el-‘Amud, Jerusalem
(with a contribution by Tamar Winter)
(Hebrew, pp. 1*–21*; English summary, pp. 139–140)
Alla Nagorsky and Zvi Greenhut
Keywords: plastered installations, glass bowl, coins
The excavation in the neighborhood of Ras el-‘Amud yielded meager architectural remains. In the western area of the excavation, a large building, with two construction phases, was exposed. It was dated by pottery to the Second Temple period (second century BCE–70 CE), and was probably destroyed during the Jewish War. The northern area of the site yielded the remains of two walls and a floor. The pottery and coins associated with these remains date to the Iron Age and the Second Temple period. It seems that the building was an isolated dwelling located outside the urban zone, in an area that served for burial during the Herodian period.
Coins from Ras el-‘Amud, Jerusalem
Donald T. Ariel
Keywords: Second Temple period, numismatics, Hebrew inscriptions, Jewish coins
During the excavation at Ras el-‘Amud, 27 bronze coins were found, 22 of which were identified. The coins date from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods, and include several coins minted during the Jewish War, the latest from Year 4 (69/70 CE).
Faunal Remains from the 1994–1996 Excavations at the Temple Mount, Jerusalem
Ronny Reich, Ya‘akov Billig, Dalia Hakker-Orion and Omri Lernau
Keywords: archaeozoology, dietary laws, economics, ethnicity
This study focused on the faunal remains (N = 3618) retrieved from three strata unearthed above the Second Temple-period stone-paved road along the southern part of the western wall of the Temple Mount. The three strata date to the Early Roman (first century BCE and first century CE–70 CE; Stratum 4), the Late Roman–Byzantine (second–sixth centuries CE; Stratum 3) and the Early Islamic (seventh–eighth centuries CE; Stratum 2) periods. The faunal remains from the Early Roman period reflect the large amounts of waste created by the various populations in the city, with a predominance of Jewish pilgrims. Following the destruction of the city in 70 CE, the ethnic identity of the population changed, and pagans, related to the Roman army, and later, Christians, inhabited the city. This transition is clearly manifested in the faunal remains, which reflect the dietary and cultic habits of the population. At the outset of the Early Islamic period, the local population changed again, and the transition from Christian to Muslim population is apparent in the faunal evidence.
A Cemetery, a Quarry and Remains of a Church at Ketef Hinnom, Jerusalem
(Hebrew, Pp. 23*–53*; English summary, pp. 141–142)
Rina Avner and Yehiel Zelinger
Keywords: necropolis, burial customs, stone quarries, cosmetics bowl, Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest, numismatics
The excavations at the site exposed the remains of two burial caves from Iron Age II, which were destroyed by quarrying activity during the Second Temple period. The area was exploited again for burial during the Late Roman period. This later cemetery held evidence of cremation—a burial custom attributed to the pagan population living in Jerusalem after the fall of the Second Temple. The architectural finds from the Byzantine period confirmed the previous identification of auxiliary rooms next to the apse of the church. The finds include pottery and stone objects dating to Iron Age II and the Persian, early Hellenistic, Early Roman and Late Roman–Byzantine periods.
Skeletal Remains from the Excavations at Ketef Hinnom, Jerusalem
(Hebrew, pp. 55*–58*; English summary, p. 143)
Keywords: anthropology, pathologies, infants, life table, demography, ethnicity
The skeletal remains from the burial tombs at Ketef Hinnom date to Iron Age II and the Late Roman period. The bones from the Iron Age were scattered in a repository located in a Second Temple-period quarry; they probably belonged to a Jewish population. The bones from the Late Roman period were found in several tombs that contained mostly one interred; these burials seem to represent a pagan population. Bones from the Byzantine period were documented solely in previous excavations at the site.
Glass Finds from Ketef Hinnom, Jerusalem
Keywords: necropolis, cemetery, burial goods, burial rituals, mourning ceremony
The excavations at Ketef Hinnom yielded 347 glass fragments, including a large amount of Ottoman-period and modern glass. The Roman-period glass fragments date to the first–early third centuries CE, including two bowls, a beaker, a jug, candlestick bottles and a small cosmetic bottle. A significant find is a rare, mold-blown ‘Sidonian’ juglet. The few glass finds that can be associated with the Byzantine period comprise a wineglass, an oil lamp, two small glass tesserae and several windowpane fragments.
The Coins from the Excavations at Ketef Hinnom, Jerusalem
(Hebrew, pp. 59*–65*; English summary, p. 144)
Donald T. Ariel
In the excavations at Ketef Hinnom, 51 coins were found and 26 were identified. The Byzantine-period coins are all of small denominations, and do not postdate the mid-sixth century CE. This finding is of importance regarding the identification of the Byzantine church uncovered at the site.
Excavations on Sallah ed-Din Street, Jerusalem, and the Northern Cemetery of Aelia Capitolina
Gideon Avni and Zubeir Adawi
Keywords: necropolis, burial, Roman army, votive lead objects, jewelry, Third Wall, city boundaries, ethnicity
Excavations west of Sallah ed-Din Street exposed 57 cist tombs and 4 rock-cut burial caves within one of Jerusalem’s largest ancient burial grounds. A relatively large amount of grave goods was recovered from the tombs, including pottery, glass vessels, lead objects and jewelry. None of the finds exhibit Jewish or early Christian ornamentation, thus indicating that these communities were not among the population of Aelia Capitolina at the time. The area was exploited as an open quarry during the late Second Temple period, and some of the Late Roman tombs were cut into that quarry. Following the abandonment of the cemetery in the early Byzantine period, quarrying activity was renewed, resulting in the destruction of some of the ancient tombs.
Human Skeletal Remains from Late Roman Tombs on Sallah ed-Din Street, Jerusalem
Keywords: burial, anthropology, life expectancy, death curve, epigenetic traits, disease
Poorly preserved human skeletal remains, belonging to at least 77 individuals, were recovered from Burial Cave I and 43 rock-cut cist tombs on Sallah ed-Din Street. Most of the cist tombs contained a single primary burial. Pathologies in the sample include three traumatic lesions, which are relatively common in skeletal populations. Individuals from both sexes were almost equally represented; infants were underrepresented. The burials indicate a civilian population, similar to other reported Roman-Byzantine populations in the country.
Late Roman Funerary Customs in Light of the Grave Goods from the Cemetery on Sallah ed-Din Street, Jerusalem
Keywords: burial, grave goods, miniature objects, gender, workshop, bronze mirrors, bone female figurine, jewelry, pierced coin, pendant
The burial ground on Sallah ed-Din Street yielded many glass vessels and numerous gold, lead, copper/bronze, iron, glass, wood, shell and bone artifacts. The glass vessels and the various artifacts from the cemetery resemble finds from other Late Roman burials in Jerusalem and its vicinity. It can be inferred that some of the interred in the cemetery on Sallah ed-Din Street were foreigners, perhaps soldiers in the Roman army and their families.
Coins from Excavations on Sallah ed-Din Street, Jerusalem
Keywords: numismatics, Aelia Capitolina
During excavations on Sallah ed-Din Street, three bronze coins were discovered: one, a
of Agrippa I, is related to the Second Temple-period quarry and the other two belong to the Late Roman cemetery. One of the latter coins was discovered within the skull of the deceased, suggesting the pagan custom related to Charon’s obol. The second coin from the cemetery was perforated, and might have been used as a pendant.
A Magical Amulet from the Cemetery on Sallah ed-Din Street, Jerusalem
Keywords: glyptics, Aelia Capitolina, Bar Kokhba Revolt, Roman colonia, iconography, ethnicity, pagans
A magical amulet, discovered in a burial cave within the Roman-period cemetery on Sallah ed-Din Street, is made from cobalt glass and is of fair workmanship. The amulet is engraved on the obverse with the image of Artemis/Diana in a frontal hunting posture, and on the reverse, with Greek letters. This finding supports the assumption that the cave may have served the family of a Roman veteran of the Tenth Legion, who resided in Aelia Capitolina sometime during the second–third centuries CE.
Chemical and Isotopic Study of Lead-Based Objects from a Late Roman Tomb on Sallah ed-Din Street, Jerusalem
Keywords: metallurgy, copper, tin, Greece, Turkey, Spain, France, West Cumbria, Durham, mining districts
Several lead-based artifacts, discovered in a cist tomb (T2200) within the Late Roman-period cemetery on Sallah ed-Din Street, were analyzed in order to elucidate their chemical composition and provenance. The chemical composition of some of the objects seems to point to a mining source located in central Britain. It seems reasonable to suggest that soldiers of the Roman army brought these lead objects to Jerusalem.
An Excavation in the Courtyard of the Knights’ Palace Hotel in the Christian Quarter, the Old City of Jerusalem
(with a contribution by Ariel Berman)
(Hebrew, pp. 67*–108*; English summary, pp. 145–147)
Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah and Miriam Avissar
Keywords: fortification lines, Iron Age, Hellenistic period, Early Roman period, dressed stones, coins, pottery, Sultan El-Malik El-Mu‘athim ‘Isa, Suleiman the Magnificent
The excavation in the courtyard of the Knights’ Palace Hotel abutted the inner eastern face of the Ottoman City wall. Five strata (V–I) were documented. In the earliest stratum (V), a drainage channel was exposed; it was probably linked to the Byzantine-period drainage system outside the Old City wall. Stratum IV yielded fills and meager construction remains from the Early Islamic period (eighth or ninth to tenth centuries CE). The main architectural remains were uncovered in Stratum III (late Crusader and Ayyubid periods; second half of the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries CE), including a square tower that was incorporated in a wall that was built shortly after it; both were used in the late twelfth century CE. Collapses of large building stones and earthen fills were attributed to Stratum II (the Mamluk period; mid-thirteenth to late fourteenth centuries CE). In Stratum I (the Ottoman period), the Old City wall was founded above the earlier tower. It seems probable that the tower was built toward the end of the twelfth century CE, together with other towers that were constructed between Jaffa Gate and Damascus Gate in 1191–1192 CE, during the rule of Saladin, in anticipation of a third Crusade.
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