In June 2016, a trial excavation was conducted on the summit of Tel Sasa (Permit No. A-7450; map ref. 23720/77039; Fig. 1). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by Kibbutz Sasa, was carried out by U. Berger (photography, surveying and GPS), with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqoby (administration) and N. Zak (drafting).
Kibbutz Sasa was constructed on the latest stratum of the tell, which contained archaeological remains dating from the Middle Bronze Age II to the Ottoman period (Syon and Nagar 2014
). Part of the kibbutz is built above the ruins of the Arab village of Saʽsaʽ (سعسع),
which is also mentioned by Victor Guérin, who visited the area in the 1860s and described it as a Muslim village of 350 inhabitants (Guérin 1880
:93–94). Archaeological excavations were conducted at the top of the tell mainly in the 1970s and 1980s (Ben-Arieh 2004
; Bron 2006
) and in recent years, along its northern outskirts (Bron 2013
; Syon and Nagar 2014
A rectangular area (48 sq m; Fig. 2) was opened in the current excavation, exposing the ruins of a building dating to the Ottoman and British Mandate periods.
The removal of layers of modern fill (L101, L102) revealed dressed building stones that had collapsed (L103) above a stone pavement built of flat fieldstones (Fig. 3). The style of the exposed building stones resembled that of the houses of the Arab village of Saʽsaʽ, some of which still stand in the kibbutz. Among the stone collapse were fragments of pottery vessels from the Rashaya el-Fukhar pottery workshop in southern Lebanon, dated to the Ottoman and British Mandate periods. These pottery sherds and the building stones uncovered in the collapse indicate the date of the structure.
Ben-Arieh S. 2004. Middle Bronze Age II Tombs at Kibbutz Sasa, Upper Galilee (Tomb 1 and Graves 37, 39). ʿAtiqot
Guérin V. 1880 Description géographique, historique et archéologique de la Palestine 7. Galilée II. Paris.