Area A
The excavation in this area (3 × 5 m), c. 60 m from the tell, was suspended at a depth of c. 3 m below surface; three layers were identified (Fig. 2).

Stratum 3. This stratum comprised several layers of soil. The bottom layer (L110; thickness c. 0.3 m) yielded potsherds from the Early Chalcolithic period: a jar (Fig. 3:3) and from the Persian period: moratoria (Fig. 3:6) and jars (Fig. 3: 8, 10). The second dark layer (L109) contained a few finds and the third layer was a pottery horizon (L108) that included fragments of lamps from the Persian period (Fig. 3:24, 25). The upper layer (L107) was an accumulation of gray earth with a few ceramic finds.

 

Stratum 2. This stratum was composed of two layers. The bottom one was a layer (L106) rich in potsherds from the Hellenistic period, including an amphora base from Knidos (Fig. 3:17) and two handles with stamped impressions (see catalogue of impressions below; Fig. 3:18, 19), as well as two coins of Antiochus III (198–187 BCE; see coin catalogue below, Nos. 1, 2) that were minted in ‘Akko. The upper layer (L105) consisted of stone bedding and crushed chalk that was not set in prior to the Hellenistic period. The layer contained numerous potsherds dating to the Persian period and a wealth of finds from the Hellenistic period, including a jar (Fig. 3:21) and a krater (Fig. 3:22), as well as a bowl from the Roman period (Fig. 3:23). Large flat (average dimensions 0.20 × 0.45 × 0.60 m) and medium (average dimensions 0.10 × 0.15 × 0.30 m) pavement stones were placed atop the bedding.

 

Stratum 1. The upper stratum was an accumulation layer from the Crusader–Mamluk periods. Finds from the Ottoman period (Loci 101, 103), including a coin that dated to the reign of Abd al-Hamid II (1876–1909 CE) from the mint in Kushta (see coin catalogue below, No. 4), were discovered in the upper part of the stratum. Other finds recovered from this layer included potsherds, ranging in date from the Early Chalcolithic until the Ottoman periods, among them the base of an amphora, imported from Knidos and dating to the second century BCE (Fig. 3:16).

 

Area B
Fragments of storage jars, cooking pots and basalt vessels, dating to three periods, were collected along the trench that was dug parallel to the tell. Most of the finds were from the Persian period, including fragments of mortaria (Fig. 3:5, 7), baggy-shaped jars (Fig. 3:9) and cooking pots (Fig. 3:11), as well as fragments of amphorae bases imported from Thassos and the northern Aegean Sea that dated to the fifth–third centuries BCE (Fig. 3: 12–14, see catalogue of impressions and amphora fragments). A few finds from the Iron Age and the Roman period were also found.
Five white horizontal levels (thickness 5–10 cm), which were identified as floors of crushed chalk that extended from a depth of 0.6–0.7 m to 1.5 m below surface, were discerned in brown soil. Numerous fragments of pottery vessels on the floors evidenced a settlement in the Persian period. Visible to the west of these floors was a poorly constructed wall of small and medium-sized fieldstones, preserved three to four courses high. The top of the stones was 0.2 m below surface. The wall, which was at least 2 m wide, could be seen in the southern and northern sections of the trench to a distance of c. 25 m. Due to technical constraints it was impossible to date it. The archaeological remains extended c. 70 m east from the point where the trench turned and it is reasonable to assume that they continued even further, although at a lower level than the depth of the trench.

 

Area C
An examination of the sections in the trench that extends perpendicular to Tel Kison, north of Area A, revealed an archaeological deposit at an elevation of 8.3–9.7 above sea level, sloping slightly northward. The color of the soil ranged from dark brown to black and it contained numerous potsherds and concentrations of small and medium-sized stones. The collected pottery fragments included potsherds from the Early Chalcolithic period: a pithos (Fig. 3:1) and a bowl (Fig. 3:2), a jar from the Early Bronze Age (Fig. 3:4) and fragments from the Intermediate Bronze and Iron Ages. Most of the finds, however, were from the Persian and Hellenistic periods. A few potsherds from the Byzantine, Crusader–Mamluk and Ottoman periods were found as well. Along the edge of the tell, M. Aviam found a fragment of a Persian figurine (Fig. 4) and a fragment of a bowl, bearing a stamped rosette.

 

Most of the finds from the Persian period were recovered 30 m from the edge of the tell. The majority of finds from the Hellenistic period were located 90–100 m from the tell and included a coin from the reign of Seleucus IV (187–175 BCE) that was struck in the mint of Antioch (?; see coin catalogue, No. 3; Fig. 5), the base of an amphora imported from Rhodes (Fig. 3:15) and a stamped Rhodian handle dated to the years 152–142/1 BCE (see catalogue of stamped impressions and fragments of amphorae; Fig. 3:20). Several potsherds from the Chalcolithic period and the Early and Late Bronze Ages were found 130–150 m from the tell. A few chunks of ceramic material fired at a high temperature (c. 750°) that were used as sling stones, weights or some other purpose, were found 160–170 m from the tell. Darker soil of a more uniform hue was located 180 m from the tell. The small quantity of ceramic finds at this distance shows the change in the levels and/or the intensity of the archaeological remains.

Catalogue of Stamped Impressions and Amphorae Fragments
Gerald Finkielsztejn

 

I. Stamped Impressions

Basket/
Figure No.

Locus

Decipherment

Origin

Dating

1030
Fig. 3:18

106

Eponym
Καλλιράτης I

Rhodes

233–230 BCE

1034
Fig. 3:19

106

Eponym
Τιμοκλείδας

Rhodes

224–220 BCE

3011
Fig. 3:20

300

Fabricant
΄Ηφαιστίων 

Rhodes

152–142/1 BCE

II. Amphora Fragments

Potsherds

Basket/Figure

No.

Locus

Dimensions

(cm)

Origins

Dating

Base

2001/2

Fig. 3:12

200

Diam. 5.7

Height 2

Northern

Aegean Sea

5th–4th
centuries BCE

Base

2001/1

Fig. 3:14

200

Diam. 5.7

Height 3

?

4th–3rd
centuries BCE (?)

Base

2001/3

Fig. 3:13

200

Diam. 5.8

Height 4.2

Thassos (?)

4th–3rd
centuries BCE

Handle

1024

106

1.5 × 2.2

Height 15.5

Rhodes

3rd century BCE

Base

3002

Fig. 3:15

300

Diam. 5.0

Height 5.3

Rhodes

4th–3rd
centuries BCE

Base

1024

106

Diam. 8

Height 8.5

Knidos

2nd century BCE

Base

1000

Fig. 3:16

100

Diam. 7.2

Height 8.5

Knidos

2nd century BCE

Base

1024

Fig. 3:17

106

Diam. 4.8

Height 3.5

Knidos

2nd century BCE (?)

Coin Catalog

Danny Syon

 


1. Antiochus III, ‘Akko-Ptolemais, 198–187 BCE.
Area A. Reg. No. 1026, L106, IAA102996.
Obverse: Head r., partly off-flan.
Reverse: [ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ] – ANTIOXOY Apollo leaning on bow and holding an arrow.
Æ, ↑, 1.69 g, 11 mm. Flan is smaller than die.
SC1, No. 1096.

 

2. Same.
Area A. Reg. No. 1033, L106, IAA102997.
Æ, 10, 1.58 g, 11 mm. Flan is smaller than die.

 

3. Seleucus IV (187–175 BCE), Antioch (?).
Area C, Reg. No. 3010, L300, IAA 102998 (Fig. 5).

Obverse: Head of Artemis r. Control marks, if any, obliterated. Hole centered.
Reverse: ΒΑΣΙΛ[ΕΩΣ] - ΣΕΛΕΥ[ΚΟΥ] Artemis stg. To front, holding long scepter or torch, leaning with her right hand on a stag. Control illegible.
Æ, ↑, 5.11 g, 18 mm.
SNG Israel 1, Nos. 905–912.

 

4. ‘Abd el-Hamid II (1876–1909 CE), Constantinople.
Area A, Reg. No. 1004, L100, IAA 102995.
Obverse: Traces of tughra.
Reverse: Around: عز نصرة ضرب في قسطنطينيه 

 In center: ۵  Below: ۱۲۹۳

Æ, 5 para, 2.15 g, 22 mm.

Pere 1968, No. 994.