web analytics
April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



2,300-Year-Old Village Discovered Outside Jerusalem


Aerial photograph of the 2300-year-old village discovered outside Jerusalem.

Aerial photograph of the 2300-year-old village discovered outside Jerusalem.
Photo Credit: Skyview, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Share Button

The remnants of a rural town that was lived in for some two centuries during the Second Temple period were uncovered near the main route to Jerusalem. In June 2013, Israel Natural Gas Lines began construction of the 22 mile-long project, which runs from the coast to the outskirts of Jerusalem, and in the process the village was uncovered. For the past six months the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has been conducting an archaeological salvage excavation of the site.

The excavations, which cover about 750 square meters, revealed a small rural town with a few stone houses and a network of narrow alleys. Each building, which probably housed a single nuclear family, consisted of several rooms and an open courtyard. According to Irina Zilberbod, excavation director on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, “The rooms generally served as residential and storage rooms, while domestic tasks were carried out in the courtyards.”

Coin from the reign of King Antiochus III. Photo: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Coin from the reign of King Antiochus III. Photo: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

The town, whose name is unknown, is nestled at the top of a hill some 900 feet above sea level, with commanding views of the surrounding countryside. These large tracts of land were used to cultivate orchards and vineyards, the economic mainstay of the region’s inhabitants.

The excavations have shown that the site reached the peak of its development in the Hellenistic period (3rd century BCE), when Judea was ruled by the Seleucid Empire, established by one of Alexander the Great’s lieutenants. The town was probably abandoned at the end of the Hasmonean dynasty.

It is not known why the site was abandoned, but the event was probably related to economic problems and not to a violent incident. Jerusalem Regional Archaeologist Dr. Yuval Baruch explained: “The phenomenon of villages and farms being abandoned at the end of the Hasmonean dynasty or the beginning of Herod’s rule is one that we are familiar with from many rural sites in Judea, and it may be related to Herod’s massive building projects in Jerusalem, particularly the construction at the Temple Mount, and the mass migration of villagers to the capital to work on these projects.”

The excavations yielded numerous and varied archeological findings, including basalt and limestone grinding and milling tools for domestic use, pottery cooking pots, jars for storing oil and wine, pottery oil lamps for domestic use, and more than sixty coins, including coins from the reigns of the Seleucid King Antiochus III and the Hasmonean King Alexander Yanai.

In light of these finds, the Israel Antiquities Authority and the INGL have agreed that engineering plans for the gas line are to be revised, bypassing the site and preserving it as an accessible archaeological site for the public.

Aerial photograph of the site. Photo credit: Skyview, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Aerial photograph of the site. Photo credit: Skyview, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Share Button

About the Author: Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

16 Responses to “2,300-Year-Old Village Discovered Outside Jerusalem”

  1. Margaret Haueisen says:

    Interesting!

  2. What no relatives of Erekat?

  3. Jennifer Shepard Hayes says:

    I love archeology and especially related to Israel

  4. Larry Singleton says:

    Wow. "Trees". For some reason I never equate Israel with trees. Always desert. Does anybody know of any book or article that outlines the agriculteral history of Israel. And that of agriculture; Arab vs. Jew in Israel?

  5. strangely it all looks like a delta wing aircraft, supersonic secret bombers. Some UFO reports have been drawn with the same shape.
    Larry is probably right, a Stealth Bomber, or a UFO , on an ancient landscape. much will probably be said of this curious design.

  6. proving examples of God's existence, truly Israel is God's own

  7. Moishe Pupik says:

    While it does look like a stealth fighter, it actually has to do with the way the archaeologists uncover a site. They dig up a rectangular quadrant, and when that's completed, they expand outward, uncovering the next rectangular quadrant.

    What we're looking at is not the shape of the town, but of the progress of the digging.

    But it does look cool.

  8. Joels Davidi says:

    As someone who is currently working on a different archaeological site in israel, this article really armed my heart.

  9. It is so interesting to learn of each new discovery.

  10. The phenomenon of villages and farms being abandoned at the end of the Hasmonean dynasty or the beginning of Herod’s rule is one that we are familiar with from many rural sites in Judea, and it may be related to Herod’s massive building projects in Jerusalem, particularly the construction at the Temple Mount, and the mass migration of villagers to the capital to work on these projects.
    Was nt Great Herod hostile to Hasmoneans? He killed thousands for being friends of the Hasmoneans !!!!

  11. Peter Loth says:

    The stones told it to who is the creator of this there's only one God God of Israel

  12. Shari Samuel says:

    There is ancient history everywhere you spit in Israel. It's always interesting.

  13. Sameer Lal says:

    Great God of Israel

  14. Gary Harper says:

    Some were abandoned by those fleeing Herodian rule.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Mock Eviction Notice shoved under the doors of students' rooms in predominantly Jewish NYU dorm by NYU SJP.
NYU Latest Site of Anti-Israel Mock Eviction Notices
Latest News Stories
Mock Eviction Notice shoved under the doors of students' rooms in predominantly Jewish NYU dorm by NYU SJP.

NYU SJP students crept into a primarily Jewish dorm and shoved propaganda under the doors of the sleeping students.

Tzipi Livni 2

Even after the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation, Tzipi Livni won’t give up on her obsession with negotiating with the Palestinian Authority – “the door is still open.”

The Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour will play this year in Israel, the first time that Israel has hosted an ATP tournament since 1996, according to the organization. The tournament, offering $1 million in prize money, will take place at the Israel Tennis Center in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat HaSharon Sept. 15-21 […]

Will Starbucks hire Boycott Movement officials when they find themselves out of work?

The Boycott Movement, like the Palestinian Authority, is slowly but surely dissolving itself.

The Israeli security cabinet unanimously decided today that Israel would not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, the terrorist organization that calls for Israel’s destruction. Considered a severe blow to peace talks, the ‘historic’ Hamas-Fatah unity pack was announced on Wednesday following a seven-year power struggle between the two factions. After Hamas’s victory […]

Ostrovsky was beaten and blindfolded during his captivity

Northeastern University has provisionally reinstated the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter on campus. The SJP chapter will remain on probation through January 2015, according to a notification letter from Dr. Laura A. Wankel, the university’s vice president for student affairs. Students for Justice in Palestine was suspended from campus on March 7 for at […]

HAS and El Al are no longer flying the friendly skies together – and loyal customers are getting hurt the most.

Ellen Degeneres gave away SodaStream products to audience members as an eco-friendly Earth Day gift.

Turkey “will strongly support the reconciliation agreement and offer all humanitarian aid” for the Hamas-Fatah unity government that was announced Wednesday,  Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Gaza’s de facto prime minister Ismail Haniyeh. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan became a fan of Hamas five years ago, at the same time relations with Israel […]

Two worshippers in a synagogue on Passover saved a child from death in a burning car that exploded shortly after the rescue. The worshippers rushed to the burning vehicle after hearing the family’ scream for help, and they found the toddler strapped in a car seat. The worshippers, Moshe Kupperman and a second man, identified […]

At the press conference with the Israeli reporters, Abbas threatened to cancel the Oslo Accords, dismantle the Palestinian Authority, and force the Israeli government to pay the salaries of PA employees and the police.

A survivors’ daughter serving in the IDF brings pride and joy to a Holocaust survivor.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas must choose between peace with Israel or Hamas.

Border Police in Yitzhar’s yeshiva have plenty of time on their hands to learn a bit of Torah.

Gaza terrorists have launched another mortar attack on southern Israel, the second such attack in less than 24 hours.

More Articles from Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency
Rockets launched from Gaza were aimed at southern Israel incessantly over the Passover holiday. (archive photo)

At least ten rockets were fired by Gaza terrorists at Israeli civilian targets over the holiday.

A self-described former terrorist, Dr. Tawfik Hamid states that the Arabs’ suffering must be acknowledged, but the source of their suffering is their own leadership.

Barkat discussed with the Congress members Jerusalem’s status in the international arena, and asked them to ensure that Jerusalem stay unified.

Moments ago a Tel Aviv court convicted former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on an account of bribes he accepted.

70% of the Israeli public do not view PA Chairman Abu-Mazzen as a partner in peace.

Israel and Canada are jointly developing technologies for identifying the source of nuclear terror attacks.

After decades in exile, Zionist leader Zeev Jabotinsky’s ceremonial saber was returned to his heirs, the State of Israel.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/2300-year-old-village-discovered-outside-jerusalem/2014/02/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: