In January 2016, a well was documented in the Cinema City complex at Gelilot (map ref. 181903/672798; Fig. 1), prior to the construction of a shopping mall and a commercial center by BIG Shopping Centers Ltd. The inspection, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by V. Shustin and D. Golan (documentation and field photography), with the assistance of N. Zak (drafting), A. Dagot (GPS), E. Ayalon and L. Rauchberger (consultation), and the architect G. Gordon and R. Hedvati of the Council for Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel.
The lower part of the well (diam. 3.5 m, depth 30 m; Figs. 3, 4) is hewn into the bedrock, and the upper part is built of four courses of dressed and finely smoothed kurkar stones. Steel beams set in the upper part of the well (c. 2 m below the well mouth, c. 0.75 m between the beams; Fig. 5) were fixed to the structure above the well with cast concrete. A map from the time of the British Mandate (Fig. 1) shows two small buildings with a citrus grove to their east; one of the buildings is probably the well house, and the other may be a small building that served the workers in the citrus grove.
The well was one of several in the village. Obviously, it was used during the Mandate period, but we do not know when it was built. Most wells of this kind had a pumping system consisting of an engine, a drive wheel, a gear, iron pump rods (stangas) and bearings, but in this well only the steel beams were preserved. The use of pump engines and steel beams began in the late nineteenth century CE, and in a small village like el-Jelil they were probably introduced when the citrus groves were enlarged during the British Mandate period.
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