A Salvage Excavation at Beit Zarzir

Gil Zioni


During July 2002, a salvage excavation was conducted in the village of Beit Zarzir in the western part of the Lower Galilee (License B-253/2002). The excavation followed the exposure of ancient remains at a building site south of the local municipality. This work, on behalf of the Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies of the University of Haifa, was directed by G. Zioni, with the assistance of S. Zagorski (field drawing) and S. Ad (artifact illustration). The archaeological remains revealed, for the first time, the domestic nature and the Early Roman date of the site, which had not been previously excavated.

About fifty square meters were opened in a roughly 7x7 meter area, near where antiquities were damaged. The excavation uncovered part of the western wing of a relatively large building, most probably a courtyard, of which two architectural phases were noted. A wall of earlier, unclear context was exposed west of the building (Plan). The small finds were scant and consist almost entirely of ceramics collected from a post-construction layer. They were of a restricted number of typical Early Roman shapes; parallels were found mainly from Galilean sites. Based on the ceramic evidence, the building was probably constructed during Early Roman period but, in the absence of any floors, no exact date can be attributed. The building collapsed sometime in the First Century C.E.


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