Stratum IV. The earliest walls (W107, W115; Fig. 4) were built of two rows of medium-sized fieldstones preserved two courses high. Mechanical earthworks carried out following the excavation ascertained that W107 was built directly on the bedrock. No clear floor was associated with these walls, but an adjacent accumulation layer (L112) contained some small sherds of the Iron Age IIA period (not drawn), two Hellenistic-period jar sherds (see Fig. 7:3, 4) and an Early–Middle Roman cooking pot (see Fig. 7:7). It is possible that the walls date from the Iron Age IIA (tenth to ninth centuries BCE) and that this part of the site was accessed in the Hellenistic period (c. third century BCE).
Stratum III. The corner of Stratum IV walls was overlain by part of a later, differently oriented building, of which three walls built of slightly larger stones were exposed (W105, W109, W110). Wall 110 exhibited a stone-blocked entrance; it was bordered on one side by a large upstanding slab and on the other side by a carefully carved column drum in secondary use (Fig. 5), which served as doorposts. A very small patch of floor made of packed earth and small stones (L103) abutted W105 on the north. Multiple sherds of a few pottery vessels from the Early–Middle Roman period (first to third centuries CE; see Fig. 7:10) were found on the floor.
Stratum II. A single east–west wall (W104) of a later building was constructed above the Stratum III building, cutting through W105 and most probably through W110 as well (Fig. 6). An accumulation layer associated with this wall and extending to its south (L108, L111) yielded mainly Late Roman to Early Byzantine sherds (fourth to fifth centuries CE; see Fig. 7:11–15).
Stratum I. The uppermost debris layer of the demolished late-nineteenth century stone building lay directly above W104. After the removal of most of the debris with a mechanical digger prior to the excavation, this layer was cleaned manually in the excavation (L100), yielding pottery from the Iron Age IIA (see Fig. 7:2), as well as the Early–Middle Roman (see Fig. 7:6, 8, 9) and Ottoman (see Fig. 7:16, 17) periods. Layer 100 also contained a coin of Constantius II, minted at Cyzicus in 351–361 CE (IAA 152771), and an Ottoman-period copper cup-weight, which probably belonged to the pioneering Zionist settlers of the moshava of Rosh Pinna (Gosker, below).
The Finds. The Iron Age II pottery included cooking pots with triangular rims (Fig. 7:1) and a ‘hippo’ storage jar with a profiled ridged rim (Fig. 7:2), forms which are characteristic of the Iron IIA (tenth to ninth centuries BCE) ceramic repertoires in northern Israel (Gal and Alexandre 2000:44–48).
The Hellenistic pottery comprised two large storage jar rims of Galilean Coarse Ware (GCW; Fig. 7:3, 4), a characteristic type of coarse ware found at inland Galilean sites from the Persian and Hellenistic periods (Frankel et al. 2001:61–62).
The Early to Middle Roman period pottery comprised some Kefar Hananya Ware (KH; Adan-Bayewitz 1993) cooking vessels, namely a cooking bowl (KH Form 1B; Fig. 7:5), an open casserole (KH Form 3B; Fig. 7:6) and cooking pots (KH Form 4A—Fig. 7:7, 8; KH Form 4C—Fig. 7:9). A single storage jar with an everted wide-band neck belongs to Type T1.3, a characteristic Early Roman Galilean storage jar form (Fig. 7:10; Díez Fernández 1983:107, 135). This Roman pottery assemblage, albeit limited, may be dated to the first to third centuries CE.
The Late Roman to Early Byzantine pottery included a Galilean cooking bowl of Kefar Hananya Ware (KH Form 1E; Fig. 7:11)—the latest Kefar Hananya form that continued into the late fourth or early fifth century CE—and a gritty-ware bowl that was probably a lid (Fig. 7:12). The Late Roman to Early Byzantine cooking pots, which were in the process of replacing the Kefar Hananya forms during this period, included two with high necks and large handles (Fig. 7:13, 14), and an additional handle of a neckless globular cooking pot (Fig. 7:15). These pottery forms are dated to the late fourth to fifth centuries CE.
A glazed bowl and a Rashaya el-Fukhar krater with a blackish and reddish-brown slip (Fig. 7:16, 17) are Ottoman-period vessels.
Additional finds (not drawn) include small fragments of two basalt millstones, one loaf-shaped, characteristic of the Iron Age, and the other an Olynthian hopper millstone, possibly dating from the Hellenistic or Roman period; several glass shards of Late Roman and Byzantine vessels; and a few fragmentary animal bones (not analyzed).
A Cup-Weight
Joppe Gosker
A copper-alloy cup was retrieved from the uppermost debris layer removed in the excavation, just below the floor level of the demolished late nineteenth century stone building (Fig. 8). This cup (370 g, top diam. 69 mm, base diam. 48 mm, height 51 mm, wall thickness c. 4 mm) exhibits two pairs of incised parallel lines, on both its outer and inner circumferences, and an X-shaped dent on its rim. A hinge is connected to the cup with two rivets; the movable part of the hinge has a round cross section where it would have been attached to the lid, which is missing. On the opposite side of the cup there is a small hole, where there used to be a closing pin. A three-digit number, probably “200”, followed by the word “DRAM” (Fig. 9) were mold-casted on the internal base of the cup.
The cup would have been the largest and heaviest of a series of cups that were set one inside the other, comprising a system of weights that are known as ‘nested cup-weights’. Nested cup-weights were part of a weight system, in which each cup weighed exactly double the weight of the cup ‘nested’ inside it. The smallest weight was an exception—a solid weight weighing the same as the cup it was set into. This assured that the combined weight of the two inner weights was the same as that of the third cup-weight, that the three inner cups weighed the same as the fourth cup, and so on.
The oldest known cup-weights date from the Roman period. They were reintroduced into Western Europe in the twelfth century CE (Biggs 2011:141–142) and continued to be in use well into the twentieth century CE. From the seventeenth century CE onwards, such cup-weights were widespread throughout Western Europe (Danforth 1988).
The lid would have carried a marking about the total weight of the stack of cups, and the inside of each cup—a marking of its specific weight, which in the case of this cup is 200 dram. The unit, dram, was used in several systems. It is derived from the Greek drachma and was used in the European Apothecaries’ system that developed from the thirteenth century CE onwards. In the Apothecaries’ system, the spelling changed from dram to Drachm around the year 1900. A dram equaled an 18 of an ounce or 196 of a pound (Zupko 1985:114). The dram unit was also used in the late Ottoman Empire, where it equaled 1400 of an oka (1.28 kg; İnalcık 1983:339). Since 200 dram—the weight marked on this cup—are equivalent to 640 grams, and the cup itself weighs 370 grams, it can be assumed that the missing lid weighed 270 grams. This is very plausible, as the lids of cup-weights often carried knobs, handles, crossbars or some decoration. The total weight of the set of nested cups would have thus been 400 dram or 1 oka. In the European Apothecaries’ system 200 dram were equivalent to 354 grams, less than the weight of the cup-weight, even without the lid.
As this cup weighed 200 dram, it was most likely part of the Ottoman system.
In contrast to the many parallels from the European Apothecaries’ system, only one parallel of an oka cup-weight was found; it is on display at the Museum of National History and Archeology in Constanta, Romania. In Romania, like other parts of southeastern Europe that were once part of the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman weight system was used (Gyllenbok 2018:2006–2008), but unlike other parts of southeastern Europe, Romania used the Latin script. The word “Dram” on the cup-weight is written with Latin letters; thus, it is likely that the cup-weight came from Romania. In this case, the weight may have arrived at the site with one of the Zionist pioneering settlers who came here from Romania in the late nineteenth century. Alternatively, it is possible that the Rosh Pinna cup-weight was an adaption to the local Ottoman system by the British, as they did not introduce their own system of weights and measures but rather continued to use the Ottoman system (Gavish 2005:80).
The small excavation exposed limited architectural remains of three building strata. The pottery retrieved in the excavation supports a tentative dating of Stratum IV to the Iron Age IIA period (tenth–ninth centuries BCE)—with the possibility of secondary use in the Hellenistic period (third century BCE); of Stratum III to the Early–Middle Roman period (first–third centuries CE); and Stratum II to the Late Roman to Early Byzantine period (late fourth–fifth centuries CE). The results of this excavation, along with the findings from previous excavations, suggest that Rosh Pinna is a multi-period site that was settled in the Iron Age I or IIA and was occupied during the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Mamluk and Ottoman periods. The repeated occupation at Rosh Pinna over several historical periods may be attributed to the strategic location of the site, its reliable water source and its location close to the main road to Damascus, Syria.