Item Details

Majdal Yābā: More Insights on the Site in Medieval and Late Ottoman to Mandatory Times

Issue: Vol 4 No. 1 (2017)

Journal: Journal of Islamic Archaeology

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.1558/jia.34119


In 2016 another excavation season was carried out at Majdal Yābā, concentrating on three rooms (02, 03 and 22) in the ground floor of the Ottoman-Mandatory manor house. Rooms 02 and 03 are large, adjacent halls apparently designated as storage and working areas, while Room 22 is a smaller living quarter. Each of the rooms revealed evidence for at least two main construction and utilization phases during the late Ottoman and British Mandate periods. In Room 03 were also unearthed—for the first time in the site—substantial foundations belonging to the Crusader castle of Mirabel, associated with well-dated finds. The analyzing of the present excavation included a first study of the faunal remains found in many of the Ottoman and Mandatory contexts, which shed much light on animal exploitation at the manor house and the (sometimes surprising) diet habits of its residents. Also studied were the rifle cartridges discovered in the excavation, the majority of which represent a homogeneous assemblage of First World War German ammunition. This hitherto largely overlooked class of artifacts was found to be much useful as an archaeological dating tool of early modern remains, alongside their contribution to the knowledge about the site’s history in the early 20th century.

Author: Itamar Taxel, Alexander Glick, Miriam Pines

View Original Web Page

References :

Arnon, Y. D.

2008. Caesarea Maritima, the Late Periods (700–1291 CE). British Archaeological Reports International Series 1771. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Avissar, M.

2009. “Ottoman Pottery Assemblages from Excavations in Israel.” In Reflections of Empire: Archaeological and Ethnographic Studies on the Pottery of the Ottoman Levant. Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research 64, edited by B. J. Walker, 7–14. Boston, MA: American Schools of Oriental Research.

2012. “Pottery from the Early Islamic to the Ottoman Period from the Cardo and the Nea Church.” In Jewish Quarter Excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem, Conducted by Nahman Avigad, 19691982. Vol. 5: The Cardo (Area X) and the Nea Church (Areas D and T), Final Report, by O. Gutfeld, 301–345. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society.

Ayalon, E.

2002. “Marseille Roof Tiles and their Imitations in Israel.” In Hidden Palaces. Wall and Ceiling Paintings in Ottoman Palestine (18561917), by Sh. Sharif, 79–87. Tel Aviv: Eretz-Israel Musem (Hebrew).

Bar-Oz, G. and N. Raban-Gerstel.

2015. “Butcher’s Waste: Zooarchaeological Analysis of a Crusader/Ayyubid Bone Deposit from Jerusalem Street, Safed (Zefat).” ʿAtiqot 81: 99109.

Barnes, F.

1993 Cartridges of the World. 7th edition. Northbrook, IL: DBI Books.

Barshad, D.

2000 “Yafo.” Hadashot Arkheologiyot–Excavations and Surveys in Israel 111: 101. (Hebrew).

Behrensmeyer, A. K.

1978. “Taphonomic and Ecologic Information from Bone Weathering.” Paleobiology 4(2): 150162.

Binford, L. R.

1981. Bones: Ancient Men and Modern Myths. New York: Academic Press.

Boas, A. J.

2010. Domestic Settings. Sources on Domestic Architecture and Day-to-Day Activities in the Crusader States. Leiden: Brill.

Conklin, C.

2007. Military Cartridge Headstamps. Collectors Guide: Code Book. Westminster, MD: Heritage Books.

Cytryn-Silverman, K.

2010. “The Ceramic Evidence.” In Ramla. Final Report on the Excavations North of the White Mosque, by O. Gutfeld, 97–211. Qedem 51. Jerusalem: Hebrew University.

Dar, S.

2009. Shallale. Ancient City of the Carmel. Bar International Series 1897. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Dekkel, A.

2008. “The Ottoman Clay Pipes.” In Paneas, Vol. II: Small Finds and Other Studies. IAA Reports 38, by
V. Tzaferis and S. Israeli, 113–164. Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority.

Glick, A.

2016. “Tell Musa Shahin, Kefar Gevirol: Rifle Cartridges.” Hadashot Arkheologiyot–Excavations and Surveys in Israel 128.

Gophna, R., I. Taxel and A. Feldstein.

2007. “Kafr ʿAna: A Rural Settlement in the Lod Valley.” Salvage Excavation Reports 4: 3–138.

Gorin-Rosen, Y.

2010. “The Islamic Glass Vessels.” In Ramla. Final Report on the Excavations North of the White Mosque. Qedem 51, by O. Gutfeld, 213–264. Jerusalem: Hebrew University.

Horwitz, L. K.

2000 “The Animal Economy of Ḥorvat ʿEleq.” In Ramat Hanadiv Excavations. Final Report of the 1984–1998 Seasons, by I. Hirschfeld, 511–526. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society.

In press. “Animal Remains from the Church at Dor: Byzantine through Ottoman Periods.” In Rediscovering Noah’s Ark: Zooarchaeology of the Holy Land, by G. Bar-Oz and K. L. Horwitz. IAA Reports. Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority.

Kedar, B. Z. and A. Kaufman.

1975. “Radiocarbon Measurements of Medieval Mortars: A Preliminary Report.” Israel Exploration Journal 25(1): 36–38.

Klein, R. G. and K. Cruz-Uribe.

1984. The Analysis of Animal Bones from Archaeological Sites. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Labbett, P.

1980. Military Small Arms Ammunition of the World, 1945–1980. San-Rafael, CA: Presidio.

LaBianca, Ø. S.

1995. “Ethnoarchaeological and Taphonomical Investigations in the Village of Hesban.” In Hesban 13: Faunal Remains. Taphonomical and Zooarchaeological Studies of Animal Remains from Tell Hwsban and Vicinity, edited by Ø. S. LaBianca and A. von den Driesch, 15–32. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press.

Lyman, R. L.

1994. Vertebrate Taphonomy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

MacLean, R. and T. Insoll.

2003. “Archaeology, Luxury and the Exotic: The Examples of Islamic Gao (Mali) and Bahrein.” World Archaeology 34(3): 558–570.

Magness, J.

1993. Jerusalem Ceramic Chronology, circa 200–800 CE. JSOT/ASOR Monograph Series 9. Sheffield: Academic Press.

Marom, N.

2016. “Tell Musa Shahin, Kefar Gevirol: Archaeozoology.” Hadashot Arkheologiyot–Excavations and Surveys in Israel, 128.

Mortlock, M. J.

2011. The Egyptian Expeditionary Force in World War I: A History of the British-Led Campaigns in Egypt, Palestine and Syria. Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Co.

Payne, S.

1973. “Kill-off Patterns in Sheep and Goats: The Mandibles from Aşvan Kale.” Anatolian Studies 23: 281–303.

Pirie-Gordon, H.

1919. A Brief Record of the Advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force under the Command of General Sir Edmund H.H. Allenby, G.C.B., G.C.M.G. July 1917 to October 1918, Compiled from Official Sources. London: H.M. Stationary Office.

Pringle, D.

1997. “The Castle and Lordship of Mirabel.” In Montjoie. Studies in Crusader History in Honor of Hans Eberhard Mayer, edited by B. Z. Kedar, J. Riley-Smith and R. Hiestand, 91–113. Aldershot: Variorum.

Prummel, W.

1987. “Atlas for Identification of Foetal Skeletal Elements of Cattle, Horse, Sheep and Pig. Archaeozoologia 1: 23–30.

Raban-Gerstel, N., G. Bar-Oz and Y. Tepper.

2011. “Bone and Horn Industry in Late Ottoman Nazareth: The Evidence from Shihab ad-Din.ʿAtiqot 67: 61–80.

Sasson, A.

2014 “The Hebrew Stone Industry at the Foothills in Modern Times – Migdal Tzedek as a Center of the Stone and Quicklime Industry.” In In the Highland’s Depth, Vol. 4, edited by A. Tavger, Z. Amar,
Z. and M. Billig, 159–174. Ariel-Talmon: Bar-Ilan University. (Hebrew with English abstract, 22–23).

Tsahar, E., I. Izhaki, S. Lev-Yadun and G. Bar-Oz.

2009 “Distribution and Extinction of Ungulates during the Holocene of the Southern Levant.” Plos One 4(4).

Tsuk, T., I. Bordowicz and I. Taxel.

2016. “Majdal Yābā: The History and Material Culture of a Fortified Village in Late Ottoman- and British Mandate-Palestine.” Journal of Islamic Archaeology 3(1): 37–88.

de Vincenz, A.

2014. “Marks on the Pipes.” In Bere e fumare ai confine dell’impero. Caffè e tobacco a Stari Bar nel period ottoman, edited by S. Gelichi and L. Sabbionesi, 71–87. Borgo S. Lorenzo: All’insegna del giglio.

Walker, B. J.

2009. “Identifying the Late Islamic Period Ceramically. Preliminary Observations on Ottoman Wares from Central and Northern Jordan.” In Reflections of Empire: Archaeological and Ethnographic Studies on the Pottery of the Ottoman Levant, edited by B. J. Walker, 37–65. Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research 64. Boston, MA: American Schools of Oriental Research.

Watson III, A.

1981. Small-Caliber Ammunition Identification Guide, Vol. 1. Charlottesville, VA: Defense Intelligence Agency.

Zeder, M. A.

2006. “Reconciling Rates of Long Bone Fusion and Tooth Eruption and Wear in Sheep (Ovis) and Goat (Capra).” In Recent Advances in Ageing and Sexing Animal Bones, edited by D. Ruscillo, 297–312. Oxford: Oxbow.

Zeder, M. A. and H. Lapham.

2010. “Assessing the Reliability of Criteria Used to Identify Postcranial Bones in Sheep, Ovis, and Goats, Capra.” Journal of Archaeological Science 37: 2887–2905.