Exposure in Binyamin: The Jordanian outpost hid a 4,000-year-old Jewish settlement

The excavation at Tel Tibneh, which was directed by Dr. Dvir Raviv from Bar Ilan University, revealed many findings from an ancient city that served as the capital of the district at the end of the Second Temple period

Discoveries found in excavations Photo: Shahar Cohen – Binyamin spokesmen.

At the end of a month of excavations at Tel Tibneh on behalf of the Binyamin Council and Bar Ilan University near the settlement Neve Tzof in Binyamin, many finds were uncovered from an ancient city that served as the capital of the district at the end of the Second Temple period. The excavation at Tel Tivneh, which he managed Dr. Dvir RabbiB from Bar Ilan University, is one of the first in Judea and Samaria since the 1980s and received the permission of the Archeology Committee of the Civil Administration to excavate the site.

The results of the surveys conducted at the site during the last month of excavation, as well as its mentions in the historical sources, show a central settlement from the Early Bronze Age to the beginning of the Ottoman period, which was sometimes of regional administrative and military importance. The site is identified with Yehoshua ben Nun’s city of Tamnat/Serach and with Tamnat/Tamanta a fortified site in the Hellenistic period and the capital of a district in the Roman period.

In the excavations conducted during the month of August, a large public mikveh was uncovered, complete pottery, coins and bones were found. A rare coin from the time of the Great Revolt was also found, on which was written “Year two for the freedom of Zion”.

Tel Tamna is one of the largest hills in the central mountain of the State of Israel. The location of the site next to one of the main roads going up from the lowlands to the mountain and next to a fertile valley sloped with springs, attracted settlers from the Early Bronze Age to the beginning of the Ottoman period.

Despite its size and importance – the site had not been excavated until last month, and the information about it is from archaeological surveys and literary sources. Before the Six Day War, the place became a Jordanian ammunition hill, and to this day there are communication trenches that were used by the Jordanian army.

The mound covers an area of ‚Äč‚Äčabout 50 dunams and is divided into two main parts, the head of the mound and its southern and western slopes. The findings of the surveys allow us to assume that the top of the mound was inhabited from the Bronze Age to the Roman period, while the slopes were inhabited from the Hellenistic/Roman period to the late Arab period, when the center of the settlement was on the western slope of the mound. The findings of the surveys point to two peak periods in the history of the site – the Iron 2 and the Early Roman.

To the south of the mound stretches a large necropolis with two tombs with decorated fronts (seen until the beginning of the 20th century) that belong to the end of the Second Temple period. At the feet of the graves, in the center of the saddle south of the mound, a large purification mikve from the Second Temple period was recorded that was used by the residents of the site and perhaps even by pilgrims who passed through the place. The Binyamin Regional Council invests in the field of heritage and archaeology, and Tel Titna is a partner in the excavation project and the preservation of the place.

The excavation was conducted on behalf of the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archeology at Bar Ilan University, led by Dr. Dvir Raviv, who said that “the study of the excavation findings will shed light on the history of the area and the material culture of its inhabitants in a variety of periods, and especially on the early Roman period when it was located in Tel – Timme, one of the capitals of the district of Judah.” .

Head of the Regional Council Binyamin, Israel Gantz: “Here in the center of Benjamin, in the center of the country, an established Jewish town was discovered that was a magnet on the main road to Jerusalem. It’s exciting to touch the graves and remains and actually touch our roots and heritage. We get to continue our ancestors here.
These discoveries are an answer to anyone who doubts the rightness of the way and our presence here and in all of Israel.”

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Source: IAS by www.ias.co.il.

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