In April 2012, a trial excavation was conducted at the antiquities site of Khirbat Dalhamiya (Permit No. A-6471; map ref. 25380–90/72880–9100) prior to the installation of a water pipeline. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Mekorot Company, was directed by G.B. Jaffe (photography), with the assistance of Y. Yaakobi (administration), A. Hajian and M. Kunin (surveying) and H. Tahan-Rosen (pottery drawing).
Khirbat Dalhamiya lies in the northern Jordan Valley, near the Jordan River diversion channel and c. 1 km southeast of Menahemya (Fig. 1). Past surveys and excavations at the site revealed remains from the Chalcolithic period and Early Bronze Age (Atrash and Porat 2014, and see references therein; for the location to two previous excavations, see Fig. 1: A-5115, A-6686).
The current excavation comprised two squares, yielding the remains of two settlement strata, from the Late Chalcolithic period (Stratum 2) and Early Bronze Age IB (Stratum 1; Fig. 2).
Stratum 2, discovered beneath Stratum 1 walls, yielded a large quantity of potsherds and flint tools from the Late Chalcolithic period, including a complete pot found in a section beneath W104 (Fig. 3), which prevented it from being retrieved. A probe (L105; Fig. 3) dug into the lower part of the stratum was not completed.
Stones found in the south of the area (L109) were either part of a wall or a collapse. Slightly to their south and on the same level was a line of medium-sized stones, which was identified as a wall, in addition to what may have been a rounded corner (W111).
Stratum 1 yielded the foundations of two perpendicular, joining walls (W103, W104) that formed two spaces. Wall 103 was built of two rows of fieldstones with a core of small stones. A third wall, in the west balk (W110), seems to have formed a corner with W103 (Figs. 4, 5).
A concentration of stones was found to the northeast of Walls 103 and 104, at a lower level than W103. It was unclear if these were the remains of another wall, but they clearly belonged to Stratum 1. The dating of this stratum to the EB IB is based on pottery found above and beside W103 and W104 (not drawn).
The excavation yielded a large quantity of pottery from the Late Chalcolithic period and a few finds from EB IB. Most of the pottery was found in Stratum 2: an amphoriskos (Fig. 6:1), numerous bowls (Fig. 6:2–10), a cooking pot (Fig. 6:11), handles with a triangular cross-section, of a type characteristic of the Late Chalcolithic period (Fig. 7:1–6; Frankel et al. 2001
:49, Type 8) and body fragments with a typical Late Chalcolithic plastic decoration (Fig. 7:7–11). Several basalt artifacts—bowls (Fig. 8:1, 2), weights (Fig. 8:3–6) and grinding stones (Fig. 8:7)—should be attributed to Stratum 2.
The excavation at Khirbat Dalhamiya unearthed architectural remains dated to Early Bronze IB and the Late Chalcolithic period. The foundations of an Early Bronze IB structure were preserved, but the excavation finds are insufficient to form any conclusions about its function or size. The site also yielded numerous late Chalcolithic finds with no corresponding architectural remains. The quantity and nature of the finds indicate the presence of a Late Chalcolithic settlement whose remains may lie deeper than those uncovered in the current excavation; the bottom of the Late Chalcolithic layer was not established.
The remains unearthed in the current excavation probably represent the fringes of the settlement at Khirbat Dalhamiya during these periods, whose remains were cut into while quarrying out the Jordan River diversion canal (Fig. 1).
Atrash W. and Porat L. 2014. Khirbat Dalhamiya. HA-ESI 126
Frankel R., Getzov N., Aviam M. and Degani A. 2001. Settlement Dynamics and Regional Diversity in Ancient Upper Galilee (IAA Reports 14). Jerusalem.