Tel Jezreel

Volume 24 Number 1—1997


Orna Zimhoni (1951–1996) In Memoriam
David Ussishkin
Excavations at Tel Jezreel 1994–1996: Third Preliminary Report
David Ussishkin and John Woodhead
Some Notes on Early Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Material from the Sites of ‘En Jezreel and Tel Jezreel
Ram Gophna and Varda Shlomi
Clues from the Enclosure-Fills: Pre-Omride Settlement at Tel Jezreel
Orna Zimhoni
Clay Figurines and Scale Weights from Tel Jezreel
Raz Kletter
Historical and Literary Notes on the Excavations of Tel Jezreel
Nadav Na’aman
The Late Roman, Byzantine and Umayyad Periods at Jezreel
T.S.N. Moorhead
A Fragmentary Greek Inscription from Tel Jezreel
Pinhas Porat
Further Evidence of Disease in the Crusader Period Population of Le Petit Gerin(Tel Jezreel)
Piers Mitchell

Excavations at Tel Jezrel 1994–1996: Third Preliminary Report
David Ussishkin and John Woodhead

The excavation of Tel Jezreel (Tel Yizre’el), located in the eastern part of the Jezreel Valley, was a joint project of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University (represented by David Ussishkin) and the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem (represented by John Woodhead). The first two excavation seasons, carried out in 1990 and 1991, were discussed in our first preliminary report (published in 1992 in TEL AVIV 19). The third and fourth excavation seasons, carried out in 1992 and 1993, were discussed in our second preliminary report (published in 1994 in Levant 26). The fifth, sixth and seventh excavation seasons, carried out in 1994, 1995 and 1996, are surveyed in the present report.

In the three seasons discussed in this report, the excavation developed according to the guidelines set in the previous seasons: first, the study of the earlier periods, with emphasis on the enclosure assigned to the Omride kings of Israel; and second, the need to systematically study the remains and stratigraphy of the later periods, with emphasis on the work in the medieval church area. During this time, Area H was opened in order to uncover parts of the northwest corner tower of the Iron Age enclosure, and the adjoining segment of the western casemate wall of the enclosure. Area H was planned in such a way that it will reach the northern wall of the Ottoman ‘tower’ and will provide some idea about the connection of the ‘tower’ with the ground to its north.

Excavations in Area E were continued inside and outside the structure of the medieval church, as well as in the probe trench outside the church. The work here was aimed at studying the foundations of the structure and the character of the constructional fills supporting them.

Excavation in Area A had the aim of elucidating all problems left unsolved in this area at the end of the 1993 season. The work concentrated on three places—or ‘sub-areas’—on the fringes of the previously excavated area. This area included several squares between the moat and the front left corner of the gatehouse. Digging there had three aims: to establish how access to the gate was gained across the moat; to learn more about the piazza in front of the gate; and to uncover additional parts of the gatehouse or associated structures near its front left corner. Area A also included several squares near the inner right corner of the gatehouse. Excavations there were aimed at studying the area immediately inside the gate, and in particular, exploring the possibility that the gate was larger than assumed and was a six-chambered gatehouse—a possibility discussed in the previous preliminary report.