In December 2013–January 2014, an archaeological excavation was conducted on the grounds of the Ohalo 1, Ohalo 2 and Hof Sinnabra (South) antiquities sites (Permit No. A-6976; map ref. 253523–630/736800–986), following the discovery of ancient remains during the installation of a pipe for the Saltwater Carrier. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by Mekorot Company, was directed by A. Mokary, with the assistance of R. Mishayev and R. Liran (surveying), Y. Lavan (administration) and laborers from Tiberias.
Remains of a Roman-period road (second century CE; Fig. 2) were discovered in the excavation. Its eastern shoulder was delineated by a wall (W10, exposed length 38 m; width 1.3 m; Fig. 4), which was built of basalt fieldstones, some of them roughly hewn. The wall was oriented north–south, and preserved to a height of two courses (0.4 m). There were no traces of mortar between the stones. The wall served as the eastern edge of the Roman road, and was dated to the Middle Roman period (second century CE) by the ceramics that were collected along its western side (L14, L20).
The southern part of the wall was built on a massive rectangular water reservoir (4.9 × 9.4 m; Fig. 3) of the Early Roman period, once it went out of use. The walls of the reservoir (width 1.3 m, preserved height c. 1.4 m) were constructed of basalt fieldstones bonded with mortar. Plaster remains survived on the inside of the walls. A scant amount of pottery sherds found on the floor of the reservoir (L17, L21), dated the installation to the Early Roman period.
An excavation area (2 × 3 m) was opened at the northern end of the excavation, west of the roadside wall, and a section of basalt-slabs pavement was exposed (L22), covered with a very thin layer of gravel (Fig. 5). It appears that this was a section of the main road that linked Tiberias with Bet She’an in the Roman period.
These remains of the road and the reservoir, as well as the bridge that was exposed at the intersection of the Moshava Kinneret along a similar route, substantiate the assumption that these are remains of the imperial road that connected Scythopolis with Tiberias in the Roman period.
Alexandre Y. 2014. Tel Bet Yerah: the Bridge to el-Sinnabra. HA-ESI 126.
Getzov N. 2008. Beth Yerah. NEAEHL 5:1649–1650.
Greenberg R. 2008. Beth Yerah. NEAEHL 5:1650–1651.
Hestrin R. 1993. Beth Yerah. NEAEHL 1:255–259.