In April 2013, a salvage excavation was conducted at Tell Fanus, northeast of Qazrin (Permit No. A-6736; map ref. 26771/76764; Fig. 1), in the wake of damage caused to ancient remains. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Ministry of Defense, was directed by O. Zingboym and R. Assis, with the assistance of Y. Ya‘acobi (administration), W. Atrash (scientific guidance), R. Mishayev and M. Kahan (surveying), S. Itkis (drafting), the Sky View Company (aerial photography), Y. Nagar (physical anthropology), H. Khalaily (flint artifacts), H. Tahan-Rosen (pottery drawing) and laborers from Tiberias and Buq‘ata.
Area A. A wall (W5; Fig. 4) was exposed, in the vicinity of which potsherds dating to the Chalcolithic period (fourth millennium BCE) and several fragments of basalt vessels were collected (L108, L109).
Area B1. A stone cairn (L110; Fig. 5) was exposed that covered the burial cell of a dolmen (L112; 0.6 × 1.8 m, height 0.8 m; Fig. 6). It was robbed in a later period. At the bottom of the burial cell was a stone pavement with sherds on it dating to the Intermediate Bronze Age. Potsherds dating to the Chalcolithic period were discovered below the pavement. Animal bones, probably belonging to rodents, were found in the burial cell. Fragments of human bones were identified outside and adjacent to the burial cell (L107; Fig. 7); these belonged to a young male individual, at least nineteen years of age. The bones that were found were burnt, perhaps an indication of cremation. Cremations are not a Bronze Age phenomenon, but rather later. In Israel they occur in the Roman period. Thus, the bones that were found outside of the burial cell reflect secondary use of the tomb in the Roman period.
Area B2. A ‘Rasm Harbush-type’ building (6 × 14 m; Figs. 8, 9) with five walls (W1–W4, W6) was exposed. In the eastern part of the building was a small narrow room (L114) with a stone shelf (Fig. 10) next to W2. The western part of the building was poorly preserved (L110). A later field wall was constructed above W6. After the building was no longer used it was enclosed within densely-built stone circles (L106), and its eastern part was filled with fieldstones (L115).
Potsherds characteristic of the Chalcolithic period were found throughout the site: in Building A—small bowls (Fig. 11:1, 2), pithoi with a rope ornamentation on their rim and neck (Fig. 11:3–5), lug handles (Fig. 11:6, 7) and a handle of a churn (Fig. 11:8); in Building B2—small bowls (Fig. 11:9–11), large bowls (Fig. 11:12) and a stopper (Fig. 11:13); and at the bottom of the burial cell in Area B1—a lug handle (Fig. 11:14).
The potsherds found in the stone circles (L106) in Area B2 date exclusively to the Roman period, and include a fragment of a Kefar Hananya cooking pot. This pot was probably brought to the site during temporary activity of people who arrived from Horbat Dabiyya, located c. 500 m to its north. Potsherds dating to the Intermediate Bronze Age were found in some of the baskets (not drawn), in addition to those from the Chalcolithic period.
Ancient remains ascribed to two occupation layers were found. The early layer dates to the Chalcolithic period (fourth millennium BCE) and is represented by one building in Area B2 and a wall in Area A. The stone cairn and dolmen are attributed to the late period, which on the basis of previous research conducted in the Golan are usually dated to the Intermediate Bronze Age (third millennium BCE; Smithline 2009
Ben-Ephraim Y. 1997. Central Golan Heights, Survey — 1993–1994. ESI
Epstein C. 1998. The Chalcolithic Culture of the Golan (IAA Reports 4). Jerusalem.