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Horvat Hermeshit

Horvat Hermeshit

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Transliterated Name Language Name
Ḥorvat Ḥermeshit Hebrew
Ne’ot Qedumim Hebrew
Khirbet Ḥarmush Arabic
The Site

Ḥorvat Ḥermeshit (Khirbet Ḥarmush) is situated 6.5 km east of the city of Lod, on the northern part of a long spur, 206 m above sea level. It is bounded by Nahal Natuf to the north, and on other sides by hills. No historical identification has been proposed for the site.

Exploration and Excavations

The site was first described in the British Survey of Western Palestine as a ruin with burial troughs, pits, and structural remains. Between 1978 and 1985, the site was surveyed several times during the Israel Survey conducted by R. Gophna and I. Beit-Arieh. From 1988 to 1997, a detailed survey and excavations were conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by Neot Kedumim — The Biblical Landscape Reserve in Israel — on whose land the site is located. The excavations were initiated by Z. Greenhut (1988–1990) and subsequently directed by M. Yron-Lubin. From 1997 to 1998, the Israel Antiquities Authority carried out extensive preservation and reconstruction of the site.

Maps and Aerial Views
Maps and Aerial Views


  • Coastal Palestine 644-800 CE from Taxel (2013)

Aerial Views

  • Horvat Hermeshit in Google Earth
  • Horvat Hermeshit on


Stratum Period Description
V Early Roman The original plans of the Early Roman phase buildings were preserved through the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods, their floors having been raised and other minor changes carried out.
IV Early Roman A number of repairs and architectural changes were made in this stratum, following the hewing of an underground hiding complex. The entrances to the cellars utilized in the stratum V complex were blocked and the cellars were expanded into broad underground halls. The ritual bath of stratum V went out of use.

The hiding complexes from this stratum are dated to the Second Jewish Revolt. They consist of halls with connecting tunnels, blind tunnels, storage pits, and ventilation holes. This network is similar in plan to others found at the site.
III and II Byzantine The residential areas were renovated in the Byzantine period. Some units were expanded and a central structure, probably a hostel, was built. The alley and the courtyard floor were raised. The southern cistern remained in use. Three arches were fitted in a hall abutting the courtyard from the south, dividing the hall into three units. In stratum II, a public courtyard paved with large stones was built to the south of the residential structure. The hiding complexes were converted into a storage compound sometime in the Byzantine period.
I Umayyad The courtyard became a dump for construction debris removed from the buildings, which were subdivided and utilized as dwellings or workshops

8th century CE Earthquake

Taxel (2013:173) reports that Greenhut (1998) claimed that a wine press found on the site went out of use at the beginning of the Early Islamic period and was damaged during the 747–749 c.e. earthquake(s), after it had already been abandoned.

Notes and Further Reading

Articles and Books

Ariel, D. T. 1998 Coins from the Survey and Excavations at Ḥorvat Ḥermeshit (1988–1990). ʿAtiqot 34: 1*–4*.

Greenhut, Z. 1998 Ḥorvat Ḥermeshit (1988–1990). ʿAtiqot 34: 121–72 (Hebrew), 9*–10* (English summary).

Marcus, J., (2015) Horbat Hermeshit Final Report, Hadashot Arkheologiyot Vol. 127

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.

Yron-Lubin M. 1996. Horbat Hermeshit (Ne’ot Qedumim) – 1993. Excavations and Surveys in Israel 15:66–68.

Yron-Lubin, M. 1999 Ḥorbat Ḥermeshit (Neʾot Qedumim)—1995. Excavations and Surveys in Israel 19: 46*–49*.

Bibliography from Stern et. al. (2008)

Z. Greenhut, ESI 7–8 (1988–1989), 81–83; 9 (1989–1990), 141–143; 10 (1991), 123–124; id., ‘Atiqot 34 (1998), 9*–10*

J. J. Schwartz, Lod (Lydda), Israel: From its Origins Through the Byzantine Period, 5600 B.C.E.–640 C.E. (BAR/IS 571), Oxford 1991

M. Yron-Lubin, ESI 14 (1994), 83–85; 15 (1996), 68–70; 19 (1997), 46*–49*; 20 (2000), 63* (& A. Sabah)

R. Gophna & I. Beit-Arieh, Map of Lod (80) (Archaeological Survey of Israel), Jerusalem 1997

D. T. Ariel, ‘Atiqot 34 (1998), 1*–4*

T. Winter, ibid., 10*

A. Kloner and B. Zissu, One Land—Many Cultures, Jerusalem 2003, 266.