The Survey of Tall Zira'a in 2001

In Autumn of 2001, a 5x5 m excavation grid was set up across the tall in accordance with the Palestine Grid. The north-south axis was denoted by letters, the east-west axis by numbers. For the survey, units of 16 excavation squares (5x5 m) were designated as survey squares measuring 20x20 m. For simplicity’s sake, every survey square was identified by its most southwesterly-oriented excavation square. Thus, survey square V 117 denotes all excavation squares along the coordinates V-Z/117-120.

The survey area comprised the entire tall and its slopes. In all, 127 survey squares measuring 20x20 m each, that is 5.08 ha, were examined.

In the 2001 campaign, 48 different pottery wares were defined which are described below. Their evaluation showed that the pottery reflects a continuous occupation of the tall from the Early Bronze Age to the Late Medieval/Islamic periods. HANBURY-TENISON also documented all of these periods (1984a, 389), explicitly including the Chalcolithic (1984a, 392f.). This latter finding could, however, not be confirmed by the material at hand.

The survey produced 22,318 sherds and 1,714 further sherds collected using the PORTUGALI method (15 squares of 10x10 m). Thus, a total of 23,879 sherds were found and catalogued, of which 2,847 were diagnostic. All finds were evaluated according to qualitative and quantitative criteria.

The chronology of the pottery finds (01 Early Bronze Age; 02 Middle and Late Bronze Age; 03 Iron Age; 04 Hellenistic; 05 Hellenistic-Roman; 06 Roman-Byzantine; 07 Byzantine(-Umayyad); 08 Early Arabic; 09 Late Arabic) proves a long settlement history on the tall from the Early Bronze Age to the Ottoman period. The sherds were not evenly distributed on the tall, however. The differing quantities collected in the various areas (at present we distinguish between the plateau and the slopes) require further evaluation; for this, readers are referred to the literature listed under “Publications.”

Project Partners

Biblical Archaeological Institute Wuppertal   (BAI
German Protestant Institute of Archaeology (GPIA)

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His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal  took up the patronage of this project as a representative of the royal house.

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Friends and Donors

  • Gerda Henkel-Stiftung, Wuppertal
  • Kirchliche Hochschule Wuppertal
  • Deutsches Bergbaumuseum Bochum

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We cooperate closely with many universities, institutes and companies.

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