Archaeological investigations and OSL dating of terraces at Ramat Rahel, Israel

Uri Davidovich, Naomi Porat, Yuval Gadot, Yoav Avni, Oded Lipschits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Dating terraces, the most prominent feature of the agricultural landscape in many parts of the world, is a problem for archaeologists. This study presents an interdisciplinary approach that combines archaeological survey and excavations with direct sediment dating of terrace fill using Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL). The study focuses on Ramat Rahel, a multi-period site located in the southern outskirts of modern Jerusalem, Israel, where, on a defined terraced slope chosen for a small-scale landscape archaeology project, three main phases of terrace construction and use were identified. The earliest phase dates to the Late Byzantine/Early Islamic period, the second to medieval times, and the last to the Ottoman period. The results enable a comprehensive reconstruction of the changing local landscape through time and demonstrate the validity of OSL, when combined with archaeological investigations, as a reliable method for terrace dating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-208
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Field Archaeology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Dry farming
  • Landscape archaeology
  • Optically Stimulated Luminescence
  • Ramat Rahel
  • South levantine highlands
  • Terrace dating


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