Sha‘ar ha-Golan

An update to Vol. 4, pp. 1340–1343.

By Yosef Garfinkel


Two small-scale excavation seasons were conducted at Sha‘ar ha-Golan in 1989 and 1990, and eight large-scale excavation seasons in 1996–2003. All were under the direction of Y. Garfinkel, on behalf of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Four new areas (E–H) were excavated, reaching a combined area of c. 2,500 sq m. The numbering of the excavation areas continues M. Stekelis’ sequence.


AREA E. Area E is located on the bank of the Yarmuk River, at the center of the ancient settlement. The new expedition exposed c. 1,800 sq m in this area, discovering a number of large courtyard buildings and a network of streets. Two of the buildings, I and II, were entirely exposed.

Building I consists of a triangular central courtyard surrounded by eight rooms. It was constructed using a simple building technique. The walls were built without foundation trenches directly upon the ground surface, their lower part of rounded basalt river pebbles, over which rounded mud bricks were laid. The entrance to the central courtyard is from an open area between buildings to the south. Small rooms enclose the courtyard on all sides. In the southwestern corner is a round room; the others are rectangular or square in shape. Five of the rooms have beaten earth floors and three, apparently storage rooms, are paved with flat basalt river pebbles. The considerable size of the building and the arrangement of the rooms with adjacent storage indicate that an extended family, probably consisting of four nuclear families, lived in the building.

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