New discoveries at Horvat Burgin in the Judean Shephelah: Tombs, hiding complexes, and graffiti

Boaz Zissu, Amir Ganor, Eitan Klein, Alon Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Horvat Burgin (Khirbet Umm Burj) occupies the summit of a hill in the Judean Shephelah. This article presents the results of archaeological fieldwork undertaken by the authors from 1995 to 2008, focusing on rock-cut underground cavities that had served as burial caves, hiding complexes, and agricultural installations. Most of the features discussed had been plundered; only one burial complex was found sealed. The article reviews the main issues published in Hebrew in preliminary form, and presents for the first time the following results: • The stratigraphy revealed in a probing excavation of a residential area; a special find: a short ink inscription in Latin, on a handle of a locally produced storage jar. • The relationship between the residential area and the hiding system hewn underneath it. • An inscription in the cursive Jewish script incised on a doorjamb of an underground room in the system. • Some outstanding burial caves and three recently looted tombs: one from the late Second Temple period; two others from the late Roman period, with schematic ornamentation executed in relief on their walls. • Two inscriptions in the ancient Asomtavruli Georgian script of the late tenth or early eleventh century CE, incised on the walls of a bell-shaped cistern. This information enables afresh overview of the history of the site during the Roman and Byzantine periods, and a discussion of its possible historical-geographical identification as the Second Temple period village of Kefar Bish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-52
Number of pages24
JournalPalestine Exploration Quarterly
Volume145
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I would like to thank to Dr. Martijn Eickhof and Dr. Elsa Clavé for their valuable comments on earlier draft of this article and to anonymous reviewers for constructive suggestions. I am grateful to The Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada, for its financial support to the research first stage through Research Grant Scheme B No. No. 1566/H1.FIB/SK/2014; and to The SEAHRN (Southeast Asia Human Right Network), which has generously funded the further stages of this research through SHAPE-SEA Grant Programme, 2016 Batch.

Funding

I would like to thank to Dr. Martijn Eickhof and Dr. Elsa Clavé for their valuable comments on earlier draft of this article and to anonymous reviewers for constructive suggestions. I am grateful to The Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada, for its financial support to the research first stage through Research Grant Scheme B No. No. 1566/H1.FIB/SK/2014; and to The SEAHRN (Southeast Asia Human Right Network), which has generously funded the further stages of this research through SHAPE-SEA Grant Programme, 2016 Batch.

FundersFunder number
Faculty of Cultural Sciences
SHAPE-SEA
Universitas Gadjah MadaFIB/SK/2014

    Keywords

    • Georgian script
    • Hiding complexes
    • Horvat Burgin
    • Jewish script
    • Judean Shephelah
    • Tombs

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