A team of archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has uncovered the 2,100-year-old ruins of an agricultural farmstead in the Galilee region of Israel.
IAA archaeologist Amani Abu-Hamid and colleagues found the ancient farmstead at the archaeological site of Horbat Assad, east of the Sea of Galilee.
They also uncovered tens of loom weights used for weaving garments, large ceramic storage vessels, and iron agricultural implements, including various picks and scythes.
The ancient coins retrieved date the farmstead to the second half of the second century BCE (Hellenistic Hasmonean period).
“We were fortunate to discover a time-capsule, frozen in time, in which the finds remained where the occupants of the site left them, and it seems that they left in haste in the face of impending danger, possibly the threat of a military attack,” Dr. Abu-Hamid said.
“The weaving loom weights were still on the shelf, and the storage jars were intact.”
“We know from the historical sources that in this period, the Judean Hasmonean Kingdom expanded into Galilee, and it is possible that the farmstead was abandoned in the wake of these events.”
“More research is required to determine the identity of the inhabitants of the site.”
The team also uncovered the foundations of buildings, pottery vessels, and other finds dating to the 10-9th centuries BCE (Iron Age).
“Mekorot’s development work in coordination with IAA is already in the general planning stage,” said Avi Malul from the Development and Customers Department at Mekorot.
“IAA’s work at the site is for the strategic project to transport surplus water from the desalination plants in central Israel to the north and Kinneret.”
“This interesting and significant find came to light in the excavation carried out before the implementation of the Mekorot water project,” IAA director-general Eli Eskozido.
“IAA and Mekorot cooperate to preserve the farmstead, at the site itself or in the immediate vicinity.”