Archaeological Sites at Ramat Hanadiv

Archaeological evidence of human activity in the area of Ramat Hanadiv is visible mostly around the tuff layers and near sources of water. The two main sites are Ein Tzur and Horvat Aqav (horva meaning ruins in Arabic). The tuff is a nurturing layer into which the wells at Ein Tzur were dug and upon which agricultural plots were situated. Inhabitants of the ancient settlement of Horvat Eleg relied upon the nearby spring to create a system of aqueducts.

The following section summarizes the main archaeological sites at Ramat Hanadiv. All excavations between 1984 and 2006 were conducted by the late Prof. Yizhar Hirschfeld, the Park’s archaeologist.

Horvat Aqav
The site includes an agricultural manor, inhabited by the local Jewish population up to the second half of the first century B.C. and deserted, most likely, at the time of the Great Revolt against the Roman Empire (70 A.D.). Beginning in the Byzantine era in the 4th century and continuing until the Arab occupation, the site was re-settled as a country villa. The remains of the villa, including the water system’s ruins were preserved and are open to the public.

Horvat Eleq
This site is situated at a strategic point, at the top of a hill overlooking the cultivated ‘Hanadiv’ Valley. A water tunnel with a spring flowing through it was found at the foot of the hill. Throughout the 20 seasons of excavations at the site, various findings were revealed, including specimens dating as early as the Bronze era. The most impressive findings are from the early Roman era: a wall, a tower and structures for processing agricultural produce. Some other findings indicate the existence of a settlement at this location during the Iron, Persian and Hellenist eras. During excavations, some ruins of Herodian origin were found. The findings included a large castle from King Herod’s time (37-4 B.C.). The castle was abandoned during the Jewish fight against the Romans. Other structures which were part of this impressive site were found on the slope of the hill.

The Tumuli Field
At the southern part of Ramat Hanadiv, remains of 40 round tumuli were found. The tumuli were used for burial purposes during the period between 3000 B.C. until the beginning of 2000 B.C. At the centre of each tumulus, a sarcophagus made of non-chiselled limestone plates (coffin/tomb) was found. Some of the tombs contained gifts, such as batons, daggers and jewellery

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