arcosolia tombs, shaft graves, and cist graves were also found. A church was constructed within one of the large dwellings. Paths quarried in the rock connected the various areas of the settlement.
|1||4th-5th centuries CE||
appears to have served as the manor house of a wealthy Jewish family (fourth–fifth centuries ce), as indicated by lamp fragments depicting a menorah found within the house. This understanding is supported by Talmudic and Tannaitic sources
|2||2nd half of 5th or beginning of the 6th century CE||
In the second half of the fifth or beginning of the sixth century ce, it was converted into a farmstead and included within it a church
|3||7th-9th centuries CE||
During the Early Islamic period (seventh–ninth centuries ce), it was made into an oil press; historical sources may indicate that in this phase it was again owned by Jews
Ḥorvat Bira was abandoned in the ninth century. From then to the end of the Mameluke period (fifteenth century ce), the site was a temporary settlement only.
17 It is worth noting, however, that according to my revised chronology, the settlement was founded not in the Late Roman period but
only in the sixth century (based on the earliest published pottery) and
was inhabited by a Christian (and not Jewish) population from its very
beginning (Taxel 2005: 237–40, 242).
18 According to D. Amit (personal communication, 2012), the rock-cut installation from Ḥorvat Bira is not a miqveh. Indeed, it is not included in Amit and Adler’s 2010 study, which presents an updated review of post-70 c.e. miqvaʾot in Palestine.
19 One of these rural settlements is Dājūn (modern Beth Dagan; ca. 9 km northwest of Lod and Ramla), which, according to the Continuatio, was a Samaritan village well into the Early Islamic period (Levy- Rubin 2002: 185). Interestingly, in the late 10th century, Muslims already inhabited Dājūn, as indicated by al-Muqaddasī (2001: 165) and other contemporary sources (Gil 1992: 332–33, with references). However, the published archaeological remains from Beth Dagan provide relatively little information about the site in the Early Islamic period (see, e.g., Peilstöcker and Kapitaikin 2000; Rauchberger 2008).
20 This is apparently despite the fact that the Continuatio also testiies that, at the time of the Muslim conquest, the Samaritans who lived in many of the coastal settlements, including Lod, fled to Byzantium “with the Byzantines” (namely, the Christians, who most probably made up the region’s Greek-speaking elite; Levy-Rubin 2002: 51).
Safrai, Z., and Dar, S.
1997 Ḥorvat Bira—An Estate in the Lowland of Lod. Pp.
57–108 in Hikrei Eretz: Studies in the History of the
Land of Israel, Dedicated to Prof. Yehuda Feliks, ed.
Y. Friedman, Z. Safrai, and J. Schwartz. Ramat-Gan:
Bar-Ilan University (Hebrew).
Schetelowitz, N., and Oren, R. 1999 Khirbet el-Bira. Excavations and Surveys in Israel 107: 42*–43*.
Taxel, I. 2005 The Transition between the Byzantine and the Early Islamic Periods (the 7th Century ce) as Seen through Rural Settlement—Ḥorvat Zikhrin as a Case Study. M.A. thesis, Tel Aviv University (Hebrew).
Taxel, I. (2013). "Rural Settlement Processes in Central Palestine, ca. 640–800 c.e.: The Ramla-Yavneh Region as a Case Study." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 369: 157 - 199.
D. Levi, Antioch Mosaic Pavements, Roma 1971, 135, 351–355
S. Dar, ESI 1 (1982), 11–13; 3 (1984), 11–13
R. D. Pringle, Crusade and Settlement (ed. P. W. Edbury), Cardiff 1985, 147–168
R. Gophna & I. Beit-Arieh, Map of Lod (80) (Archaeological Survey of Israel), Jerusalem 1997
R. Oren & N. Scheftelowitz, ibid. 20 (2000), 50*–51*
Y. Magen, LA 51 (2001), 257–266
Z. Safrai & A. Sasson, Quarrying and Quarries in the Land of Israel, Elkanah 2001 (Eng. abstracts).