Hurvat Itri

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Hurvat Itri
חורבת עתרי
Atri IMG 5757.JPG
Archaeological remains at Hurvat Itri
Hurvat Itri is located in Israel
Hurvat Itri
Shown within Israel
Location Israel
History
Periods Second Temple era
Site notes
Public access Open year round

Coordinates: 31°38′58″N 34°58′19″E / 31.6494720°N 34.9720070°E / 31.6494720; 34.9720070 Hurvat Itri (Hebrew: חורבת עתרי‎) also known as the Itri Ruins (alt. spellings: 'Ethri; Atari), refers to a sprawling archaeological site that features the remains of a restored Jewish village which dates back to the Second Temple period. The site sits upon an elevation of 406 metres (1,332 ft) above sea level, wherein are preserved an ancient synagogue, wine presses, a theater, cisterns, ritual baths and stone ossuaries, as well as an underground system of public hiding places. The site is located in modern-day Israel and is situated in the Judean Hills, southeast of Bet Shemesh, within the Adullam-France Park — c. 35 kilometers (22 mi) southwest of Jerusalem, 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) southeast of the Elah Valley and 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) northeast of Beth Guvrin. Formerly known in Arabic as Umm Suweid (the mother of the buckthorns), the modern name of the site was only applied in March 2001 by the Israel Official Names Commission, after a team of IAA archaeologists discovered an ostracon bearing the name "Ethri," thought to be a reference to the name of the city "Caphethra" (=Kefar Ethra) described by Josephus.[1] The site stands out among other archaeological sites because of its formidable wall formations, with massive stones, which led Israeli archaeologist, Boaz Zissu, to believe that it may have been one of the fifty strongholds in Judea destroyed by Hadrian during the Bar Kokhba revolt.

The Judean Hills were first settled by the Israelite tribe of Judah during 12th century BCE and then became densely populated by the Jewish people between (1st century BCE – 1st century CE). At the time of the Great Revolt (66 CE-74 CE) of the Jews against the Roman rulers the Romans took over the hills and destroyed many of the villages and towns. Despite the revolt Jewish people returned and rebuilt their villages. Then came a second revolt also known as the Bar Kokhba Revolt which lasted from 132-135 CE, in which the Jews attacked the Romans using underground tunnels. In the end Jewish population was beaten and their villages and towns were destroyed.[2][3][4]

The vat of a winepress, at Hurvat Itri

Archaeology[edit]

The half-Shekel coin discovered in Hurvat Itri

Archaeological findings at the site reveal that its inhabitants had several sources of income, namely, a columbarium facility for breeding doves and producing fertilizer, and loom and spindle weights for spinning and weaving. However, its numerous wine presses suggest that the town's inhabitants were engaged in viniculture. Archaeological artifacts and ruins have been found dating back to the Persian, Hellenistic and Early Roman periods.[5]

Of special interest were the discoveries of small coins from the second and third year of the First Jewish revolt, particularly, a silver half-shekel coin from the 3rd year of the revolt, upon which are embossed the words "Half-Shekel" in paleo-Hebrew (Hebrew: חצי השקל‎), and having a silver content of 6.87 grams, discovered in an area of the site known as "complex XIV," and a bronze coin with a date-palm tree and the inscription, "El'azar the Priest," on its obverse side, and a cluster of grapes with the inscription, "Year One of the Freedom of Israel," on its reverse side.[6][7]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ See Josephus, The Jewish War, 4.9.9, where the name is rendered in Greek as Κάφεθρα, believed to be a corruption of "Kefar Ethra. Cf. Boaz Zissu and Amir Ganor, Horvat 'Ethri— A Jewish Village from the Second Temple Period and the Bar Kokhva Revolt in the Judean Foothills, Journal of Jewish Studies, vol. LX, no. 1, Spring 2009, p. 90, note 1.
  2. ^ JWeekly (28 May 2004). "Raiders of the lost synagogue:Ancient village opens to keep grave robbers away". JWeekly.com. 
  3. ^ https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=CcjYAQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA191&dq=hurvat+itri&ots=QUiSYlVj7t&sig=9jZc1qxfMwpz6645FwgqS_ZvPuI#v=onepage&q=hurvat%20itri&f=false
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Boaz Zissu & Amir Ganor, Horvat Ethri — A Jewish Village from the Second Temple Period and the Bar Kokhba Revolt in the Judean Foothills, Journal of Jewish Studies 60 (1), Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, London 2009, pp. 92—96.
  6. ^ Boaz Zissu & Amir Ganor, Horvat Ethri — A Jewish Village from the Second Temple Period and the Bar Kokhba Revolt in the Judean Foothills, Journal of Jewish Studies 60 (1), Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, London 2009, pp. 96; 118.
  7. ^ Boaz Zissu and Amos Kloner, Rock-Cut Hiding Complexes from the Roman Period in Israel (expanded and improved version of article published by Kloner and Zissu 2009), fig. 28 on p. 17 in pdf.

External links[edit]