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Tel Hadid in the Byzantine period: Preliminary survey

Ruthy Lewis-Bloom, Israel Antiquities Authority and Dr. Ido Koch, Department of Archaeology and the Ancient Near East Cultures, Tel Aviv University
ISSN 2788-5151
Open Access Journal

Abstract

English
עברית
العربية

In our research, we present for the first time remains from the Byzantine period uncovered at Tel Hadid. These remains include finds from excavations carried out at the site in the past, from the days of the British Mandate to the excavations by the Tel Aviv University Institute of Archaeology, currently being conducted at the site under the management of Koch and his partners. Remains of the Byzantine period at the site include a church mosaic floor, rock-hewn tombs, and wine press installations. The objects unearthed in the various excavations include pottery and glass vessels that indicate the economy of the villagers as well as the period of time in which the settlement existed: during the entire Byzantine period and the beginning of the early Islamic period – until the end of the eighth century.
Tel Hadid is located on the edge of the mountain, near the border of the Lod Valley. It is one of the regions of the country that is richest in antiquities. Tel Hadid is an hour and a half’s walk from the city of Lod and it is probable that its flourishing in the Byzantine period, as well as its decline in the early Islamic period, were influenced by processes that occurred in the city of Lod. Based on the exposure of many sites of  monasteries and churches in the surrounding, area we cautiously suggest that the remains that indicate church activity in Tel Hadid and possibly also the mass production of wine, are related to an all-regional phenomenon of monasteries that provided for the needs of the pilgrims on their
way to Jerusalem from the coastal area.

במאמרנו אנו מציגים לראשונה שרידים מהתקופה הביזנטית אשר נחשפו בתל חדיד בחפירות שבוצעו באתר בעבר, החל מימי המנדט הבריטי ועד לחפירות משלחת המכון לארכאולוגיה באוניברסיטת תל-אביב והסמינר הבפטיסטי של ניו-אורלינס, המתנהלות בימים אלה. שרידי התקופה הביזנטית באתר כוללים רצפת פסיפס של כנסייה, קברים חצובים בסלע, וגתות יין מורכבות. החפצים שנחשפו בחפירות השונות כוללים כלי- חרס וכלי-זכוכית המלמדים על כלכלת תושבי הכפר כמו-גם על פרק הזמן בו התקיים הישוב: במהלך כל התקופה הביזנטית ובראשית התקופה המוסלמית הקדומה – עד המאה השמינית. תל חדיד נמצא במרחק שעת הליכה מהעיר לוד ויש להניח שפריחתו בתקופה הביזנטית כמו גם דעיכתו בתקופה המוסלמית הקדומה, הושפעו מתהליכים שהתרחשו בלוד. על סמך חשיפה של אתרים רבים, בהם מנזרים וכנסיות, במרחב הקרוב אנו מציעים בזהירות שהשרידים המעידים על פעילות כנסייתית בתל חדיד ואולי גם שרידי הייצור ההמוני של היין בגתות, קשורים לתופעה כלל-אזורית של מנזרים שסיפקו את צרכיהם של הצליינים אשר עלו לירושלים מאזור החוף.

نعرض في مقالنا لأول مرة البقايا الأثرية من الفترة البيزنطية التي اكتُشِفَت في تل حديد (مكان قرية الحديثة، قضاء الرملة) خلال عملية التنقيب عن الآثار التي أجريت في الموقع منذ أيام الانتداب البريطاني حتى حفريات معهد الآثار بجامعة تل أبيب ومعهد الكلام المعمداني في نيو أورلينز الجارية خلال هذه الأيام. تشمل بقايا الفترة البيزنطية في الموقع على أرضية فسيفساء للكنيسة ومقابر منقوشة في الصخر ومعاصر لصناعة النبيذ. تضم المكتشفات الاثرية التي تم العثور عليها أثناء الحفريات أوانٍ فخارية وزجاجية تشير إلى الاقتصاد القروي في الموقع خلال الفترة البيزنطية بأكملها وبداية الفترة الإسلامية المبكرة (حتى نهاية القرن الثامن بعد الميلاد). يقع التلّ على مسافةِ ساعة ماشيٍ واحدةٍ من مدينة اللدّ ومن المحتمل أن ازدهار القرية المقامة على التلّ خلال العصر البيزنطي وانحسارها في الفترة الإسلامية المبكرة هي نتيجةِ تغيّراتٍ أثّرت في مدينة اللدّ. بناءً على اكتشاف العديد من مواقع الأديرة والكنائس المسيحية في المنطقة المحيطة بتل حديد، نقترح بعناية أن البقايا تشير إلى نشاط كنيسة في تل حديد وربّما أيضًا بقايا الإنتاج الضخم للنبيذ، مرتبطة بظاهرة إقليمية عامة : وجود لأديرة وفرت احتياجات الحجاج في طريقهم إلى القدس من منطقة الساحل.

الكلمات الدالة: تل حديد، الفترة البيزنطية، الفترة الاسلامية المبكرة، اوان زجاجية، دير، كنيسة

Key Words

Byzantine periodchurchEarly Islamic periodglass vesselsmonasteryTel Hadid
The article

Introduction

The Lod Valley flourished during the Byzantine period. Lydda (Lod) was an important city on a national scale (Schwartz 1991: 168; 2015: 115-117), which like many cities in the southern Levant underwent many changes. Many of the inhabitants of the city converted to Christianity and the city . . .

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