During November–December 2005 a salvage excavation was conducted north of Tel Kison (Tell Keisan; Permit No. A-4638; map ref. NIG 21400–425/75340–50; OIG 16400–425/25340–50), as a result of damage caused to antiquities. The excavation, carried out on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the Israel Electric Company Ltd., was directed by N. Feig, with the assistance of Y. Lavan and Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration), A. Hajian (surveying) and H. Smithline (photography).
Tel Kison, which extends across an area of 60 dunams, is located in the Plain of ‘Akko. The tell was excavated in 1935 by A. Rowe and in 1971–1976 by J. Briend and J.-B. Humbert. An excavation was recently conducted north of the tell (HA-ESI 119).
Two areas (D, E; 5.0 × 7.5 m; Fig. 1), 20 m apart, which were located north of the tell, c. 150 m west of Tepper’s excavation, were excavated .
Area D (Figs. 2, 3). Four layers were exposed.
Stratum I: Hellenistic period (fourth–third centuries BCE). A floor of large pebbles survived only in the northeastern part of the square (L404).
Stratum II: Persian period (end of sixth–fourth centuries BCE). Two floor levels were discerned in the southern part of the square (L403). Locus 402 was also ascribed to this stratum. This layer was characterized by a plethora of pottery vessels that included bowls, jars of various types and cooking pots.
Stratum III: Iron I (eleventh–mid tenth centuries BCE). A floor was exposed (L413).
Stratum IV: Chalcolithic period (fifth millennium BCE). No architectural remains were exposed, but rather, a fill layer containing many jar fragments. A yellowish brown layer of alluvium that is characteristic of this region and devoid of potsherds was exposed below Stratum IV
Area E (Figs. 4, 5). Six strata were exposed.
Strata I–II: The upper two layers, which are dated to the Hellenistic period, included a wall (W31) that survived one course high, and two floors. Fragments of Rhodian amphoras were revealed, among them three stamped handles.
Strata III–V: Persian period (end of the sixth–fourth centuries BCE). The remains of floors made of potsherds and small stones were exposed in half of the square; the finds from them are characterized by fragments of mortaria, cooking pots and jars.
Stratum VI: A fill layer replete with potsherds from Iron I and the Chalcolithic period (L313) was discerned; below it was a deposit of yellowish brown soil devoid of sherds (an alluvial layer c. 35 cm thick).
It seems that the occupation along the fringes of the tell occurred mainly during the Hellenistic and Persian periods, at which time the settlement expanded and flourished, as evidenced by the abundance of imported pottery vessels. The rich finds from the Chalcolithic period, which were recovered from the fields surrounding the tell, suggest that the settlement at this time was concentrated primarily on the plain.