|Heshbon||possible||≥ 8||wide range of dates|
|Tell Hisban||Arabic||تيلل هيسبان|
|Tell Ḥesbān||Arabic||تيلل هيسبان|
Stratum 11 is characterized by another building program.
On the temple grounds a new colonnade was built in front (east) of the temple, perhaps a result of Julian's efforts to revive the state cult.
Stratum 12 represents a continuation of the culture of Stratum 13.
On the summit of the tell a large public structure was built; partly following the lines of earlier walls. This structure is interpreted to be the temple shown on the reverse of the so—called "Esbus Coin", minted at Aurelia Esbus under Elagabalus (A.D. 218 — 222).
Stratum 13 began with a major building effort occasioned by extensive earthquake destruction [in Stratum 14]
The transition from Stratum 13 to Stratum 12 appears to nave been a gradual one.
|14||63 BCE - 130 CE||
the overall size of the settlement seems to have grown somewhat. Apart from the continued use of the fort on the summit, no intact buildings have survived. A large number of underground (bedrock) installations were in use during Stratum 14
The stratum was closed out by what has been interpreted as a disastrous earthquake
architecture interpreted to be primarily a military post or fort, around which a dependent community gathered
|16||7th-6th century BCE|||
|17||9th-8th century BCE|||
|18||1150-10th century BCE|||
Walker and LaBianca (2003:448)'s Chronological Chart of the Strata at Tall Hisban (Table 1) is presented below:
|Stratum||Political periodization||Cultural Period||Absolute Dates|
|I||Late Ottoman-modern||Late Islamic IIb-modern
Pioneer, Mandate, and Hashemite
|II||Middle Ottoman||Late Islamic IIa
|IIIb||Early Ottoman||Late Islamic Ib
Post-Mamluk - Early Ottoman
|IIIa||Late Mamluk (Burji)||Late Islamic Ia||1400-1500 CE|
|IVb||Early Mamluk II (Bahri)||Middle Islamic IIc||1300-1400 CE|
|IVa||Early Mamluk I (Bahri)||Middle Islamic IIb||1250-1300 CE|
|IVa||Ayyubid/Crusader||Middle Islamic IIa||1200-1250 CE|
|V||Fatimid||Middle Islamic I||1000-1200 CE|
|VIb||Abbasid||Early Islamic II||800-1000 CE|
|VIa||Umayyad||Early Islamic I||600-800 CE|
|VIII||Roman||Roman||60 BCE - 300 CE|
|XIb||Iron II||Iron II||900-500 BCE|
|XIa||Iron I||Iron I||1200-900 BCE|
Though evidence for Stratum 15 occupation at Tell Hesban occurs in the form of ceramic remains found across the entire site, evidence of stratigraphic value is greatly limited in quantity and extent.Mitchel (1980:47) noted that there was limited evidence for destruction and/or abandonment in Stratum 15 though most of the evidence was removed by subsequent building activities particularly in Stratum 13. Destruction layers were variously described as debris, a rubble layer, or tumble. Due to
slim evidence, Mitchel (1980:70) did not form firm conclusions about the nature of the end of Stratum 15
The transition to Stratum 14 may be characterized as a smooth one, although the evidence is slim. There is currently no evidence of a destroying conflagration at the end of Stratum 15. In fact, I do not believe it is likely that we shall know whether Stratum 15 Heshbon was simply abandoned or destroyed by natural or human events.
bedrock surface channels, presumably for directing run-off water into storage facilities, which now are totally disrupted, and in many cases rest ten to twenty degrees from the horizontal; by caves with carefully cut steps leading down into them whose entrances are fully or largely collapsed and no longer usable; by passages from caves which can still be entered into formerly communicating caves which no longer exist, or are so low-ceilinged or clogged with debris as to make their use highly unlikely — at least as they stand now.Mitchel (1980:73) also noticed that new buildings constructed in Stratum 13 were leveled over a
jumble of broken-up bedrock. Mitchel (1980:95) reports that Areas B and D had the best evidence for the massive bedrock collapse - something he attributed to the "softer" strata in this area, more prone to karst features and thus easier to burrow into and develop underground dwelling structures. Mitchel (1980:96) reports discovery of a coin of Aretas IV (9 BC – 40 AD) in the fill of silo D.3:57 which he suggests was placed as part of reconstruction after the earthquake. Although Mitchel (1980:96) acknowledges that this suggests that the causitive earthquake was the 31 BCE Josephus Quake, Mitchel (1980:96) argued for a later earthquake based on the mistaken belief that the 31 BCE Josephus Quake had an epicenter in the Galilee. Paleoseismic evidence from the Dead Sea, however, indicates that the 31 BCE Josephus Quake had an epicenter in the vicinity of the Dead Sea relatively close to Tell Hesban. Mitchel (1980:96-98)'s argument follows:
The filling of the silos, caves, and other broken—up bedrock installations at the end of the Early Roman period was apparently carried out nearly immediately after the earthquake occurred. This conclusion is based on the absence of evidence for extended exposure before filling (silt, water—laid deposits, etc.), which in fact suggests that maybe not even one winter's rain can be accounted for between the earthquake and the Stratum 13 filling operation. If this conclusion is correct, then the Aretas IV coin had to have been introduced into silo D.3:57 fill soon after the earthquake. which consequently could not have been earlier than 9 B.C.Mitchel (1980:100)'s 130 CE date for the causitive earthquake rests on the assumption that the "fills" were deposited soon after bedrock collapse. If one discards this assumption, numismatic evidence and ceramic evidence suggests that the "fill" was deposited over a longer period of time - perhaps even 200+ years - and the causitive earthquake was earlier. Unfortunately, it appears that the terminus ante quem for the bedrock collapse event is not well constrained. The terminus post quem appears to depend on the date for lower levels of Stratum 14 which seems to have been difficult to date precisely and underlying Stratum 15 which Mitchel (1980:21) characterized as chronologically difficult.
The nature of the pottery preserved on the soft, deep fills overlying collapsed bedrock is also of significant importance to my argument in favor of the A.D. 130 earthquake as responsible for the final demise of underground (bedrock) installations in Areas B and D. Table 7provides a systematic presentation of what I consider to be the critical ceramic evidence from loci in three adjacent squares, D.3, D.4, and B.7. The dates of the latest pottery uniformly carry us well beyond the date of the earthquake which damaged Qumran, down, in fact, closer to the end of the 1st century A.D. or the beginning of the 2nd.
- DOM = Dominant
- TABF = Tabun Fragment
- BOD = Body Sherd
- IRN1 = Iron Age I
- IRN1A = Iron Age IA
- IRN2 = Iron Age II
- I2/P = Iron Age II/Persian
- HELL = Hellenistic
- LHEL = Late Hellenistic
- EROM = Early Roman
*Dates from Stern et al (1993)
- Iron Age I - 1200-1000 BCE*
- Iron Age IA - 1200-1150 BCE*
- Iron Age II - 1000-586 BCE*
- Iron Age II/Persian - 1000*-332 BCE
- Hellenistic - 332-63 BCE
- Late Hellenistic - 198-63 BCE
- Early Roman I - 63-37 BCE
- Early Roman II - 37-4 BCE
- Early Roman III - 4 BCE-73 CE
- Early Roman IV - 73-135 CE
In addition to these three fill loci, soil layer D.4:118A (inside collapsed cave D.4:116 + D.4:118) yielded Early Roman I-III sherds, as well as two Late Roman I sherds (Square D.4 pottery pails 265, 266). Contamination of these latter samples is possible, but not likely. I dug the locus myself.
Obviously, this post-31 B.C. pottery could have been deposited much later than 31 B.C.. closer, say, to the early 2nd century A.D., but the evidence seems to be against such a view. I personally excavated much of locus D.4:101 (Stratum 13). It was a relatively homogeneous, unstratified fill of loose soil that gave all the appearances of rapid deposition in one operation. From field descriptions of the apparently parallel loci in Squares D.3 and B.7. I would judge them to be roughly equivalent and subject to the same interpretation and date. And I repeat, the evidence for extended exposure to the elements (and a concomitant slow, stratified deposition) was either missed in excavation, not properly recorded, or did not exist.
This case is surely not incontrovertible but seems to me to carry the weight of the evidence which was excavated at Tell Hesban.
a destruction of some sort tumbled the wall on the east side of the great stairway. The destruction was interpreted to be a result of one of the 363 CE Cyril Quakes. Mitchel (1980:193) suggested the source of the tumble was, signaling the end of the latter's useful lifePlate 25A
East Margin of Monumental Stairway, D.3. View East
most probably the retaining wall at the east margin of the stairs (D.3:16A). Mitchel (1980:181) also suggests that this earthquake destroyed the Temple on the acropolis; noting that
it was never rebuilt as a Temple. Numismatic evidence in support of a 363 CE earthquake destruction date was obtained from Locus C.5:219 where
an Early Byzantine soil layer produced a coin of Constans I, A.D. 343providing a
closing datefor Stratum 11 (Mitchel, 1980:195). However, Mitchel (1980:195) noted the presence of an alternative hypothesis where Sauer (1973a:46) noted that
a 365/366 coin would suggest that the rock tumble and bricky rei soil of Stratum 6 should be associated with a 365 earthquake. Mitchel (1980:195) judged this hypothesis as
untenableciting other numismatic and ceramic evidence. In a later publication, Sauer (1993:255-256) changed his dating assessment of the strata which appears to align with Mitchel (1980)'s original assessment.
Although evidence for the AD 363 earthquake was found at Hesban, it could only be identified in a few rock tumbles in various areas of the tell. Following the earthquake there was no large scale construction, neither domestic nor public. The earthquake, which was severe at other sites (Russell 1980) probably did little damage at Hesban.That said, if Mitchel (1980:193) is correct that a retaining wall collapsed on the monumental stairway, unless it was tilted and at the point of collapse beforehand, it's collapse suggests high levels of local Intensity.
There is scattered evidence for a destruction, probably caused by an earthquake. This evidence comes from Area C, and Probes G.11 and G.16. If there was evidence of destruction in Area A, it would have been removed in the subsequent reconstruction and enlargement of the church. The ceramic evidence suggests that the destruction occurred in the Late Byzantine period. Placement in the overall stratigraphic sequence would suggest a destruction date in the first quarter of the sixth century for Stratum 9.Storfjell (1993:110) discussed dating of Stratum 9 as follows:
The evidence is not precise enough to specify with certainty the exact dates for Stratum 9, although the ceramic horizon is predominantly Early Byzantine (ca. AD 408-527). It is this period that first reveals the Christian presence at Tell Hesban.The Christian presence was apparently the construction of a Christian church on the remains of the Roman Temple possibly damaged by an earthquake in the 4th century CE. This church was apparently rebuilt in Stratum 8 which has a terminus ante quem of 614 CE according to Storfjell (1993:113). Sauer (1993:259), in the same publication, disputes the early 6th century earthquake evidence at Tall Hisban stating that
thus far, there is no earthquake evidence at Hesban in this period.
Two roughly square rooms, each approximately 4 x 4 meters wide and built against the inner face of the Hellenistic wall, occupied most of N.l and N.2. Masonry walls, four courses high, delineated the space. The original rooms were separated by what appears to have been an open air corridor; a door in the east wall of N. l and one in the west wall of N.2 allowed passage between the two rooms. The floors of these rooms (N.1: 18, N.2: 16) were made of a hard packed, yellowish clay, which was badly broken and pocketed in many places by wall collapse. Upper courses of the walls of the rooms had fallen onto the floor and crushed several large storage jars and basins and cookware (Fig. 16), dated in the field to the transitional Byzantine-Umayyad period. The only foundation trench identified (N.2: 25) yielded no pottery. The fill above these floors contained pottery that was late Umayyad and Abbasid in date. While it is not possible at this early stage of excavation to determine when this structure was first built, it was clearly occupied in the middle of the seventh century, suffered a catastrophic event, and was reoccupied (at some point) and used into the ninth century. Fallen architecture, crushed pottery, badly damaged floors that appeared to have "melted" around the fallen blocks, and wide and deep ash pits and lenses bare witness to a major conflagration. The most likely candidate for this is the recorded earthquake of 658/9, which was one of the most destructive in Jordan's history since the Roman period, rather than the Islamic conquests of the 630's ( El-Isa 1985: 233).Figure 16
Ceramic vessels crushed by fallen vault in Early Islamic Room N.1.
Walker and LaBianca (2003)
the residence of the Mamluk governor of the al-Balqa'.
The storeroom complex of L.1 and L.2 was built in three phases, all dated to the fourteenth century (and assigned to Stratum IVb) on the basis of associated pottery. Architectural Phases I and II correspond, respectively, to the original construction (the narrow storeroom in L.1 and the rooms east of it in L.2) and an extension of the L.1 storeroom to the east that followed a short time later (Fig. 7). Phase III, on the other hand, represents a relatively brief reoccupation of the rooms associated with the storeroom's doorway (square L.2).In L.1 and L.2, earthquake damage was discovered at the end of Phase II.
Phase II Excavations at tall Hisban, the 1998 and 2001 Seasons: The Islamic Periods (Strata I-VI)Overlying strata was described as follows:
Earthquake damage was everywhere evident in the L.2 part of the storeroom, with walls knocked out of alignment; collapsed vaults (Fig. 8); and extensive ash cover, the result of a large conflagration likely brought on by oil lamps that had fallen from the upper stories. Thousands of fragments of glazed pottery, crushed by the vault stones that fell on them; nearly complete sugar storage jars (Fig. 9); dozens of channel-nozzle and pinched lamps (Fig. 10), many interspersed among fallen vault stones; fragments of bronze weaponry; painted jars and jugs (Fig. 11); and occasional fragments of metal bowls were recovered from L.1:17 - L.2:12, the beaten earth floor of the Mamluk-period (Stratum IVb) storeroom. There is evidence that the earth floor was originally plastered, as traces of white plaster were noticeable in the corners of the room, along the base of the walls at some places, and at the doorway. Earthquake and fire damage was so severe, however, that most of the plaster was destroyed.Figure 8
Remains of partially collapsed barrel vault in L2.
Walker and LaBianca (2003)
A meter-thick fill of loess (L.1:3, L.2:7) covered the floor (L.1:17, L.2:12), bearing witness to centuries of abandonment after the partial collapse of the covering vaults. The uppermost levels of the storeroom (L.2:3) above this fill were largely disturbed by a Stratum I, Ottoman-period cemeteryWalker et al (2017) also noted archeoseismic evidence which appears to be from the same earthquake in field M (aka Area M)
Middle Islamic 3/Post-Middle Islamic 3
earthquake (misaligned stones in architecture throughout field; collapse of vaulting and walls) destroys parallel chambers in M4, M5, M8 and M9; area abandoned.
entrances are fully or largely collapsed and no longer usable
a destruction of some sort tumbled the wall on the east side of the great stairway
East Margin of Monumental Stairway, D.3. View East
|Broken pottery found in fallen position||
Upper courses of the walls of the rooms had fallen onto the floor and crushed several large storage jars and basins and cookware (Fig. 16
Upper courses of the walls of the rooms had fallen onto the floor
|Broken pottery found in fallen position||L.2 & L.1 (?) -
Thousands of fragments of glazed pottery, crushed by the vault stones that fell on them
|Displaced Walls||L.2 -
walls knocked out of alignment
Field M -
misaligned stones in architecture throughout field
collapsed vaults (Fig. 8)
Field M -
collapse of vaulting and walls
|Collapsed Walls||Field M -
collapse of vaulting and walls
Field M -
destroys parallel chambers in M4, M5, M8 and M9
Walker, B. J. and Øystein, S.L. (2003). "The Islamic Qusur of Tall Ḥisbān :
preliminary report on the 1998 and 2001 seasons." Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 47: 443.
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Heshbon Expedition Symposium, Hesban after 25 years, Berrien Springs, Mich., Institute of Archaeology, Siegfried H. Horn Archaeological Museum, Andrews University.
Boraas, Roger S., and S. H. Horn. Heshbon 1968: The First Campaign at Tell Hesban, a Preliminary Report. Andrews University Monographs, vol. 2. Berrien Springs, Mich., 1969.
Boraas, Roger S., and S. H. Horn. Heshbon 1971: The Second Campaign at Tell Hesban, a Preliminary Report. Andrews University Monographs, vol. 6. Berrien Springs, Mich., 1973.
Boraas, Roger S., and S. H. Horn. Heshbon 1973: The Third Campaign at Tell Hesban, a Preliminary Report. Andrews University Monographs, vol. 8. Berrien Springs, Mich., 1975.
Boraas, Roger S., and Lawrence T . Geraty. Heshbon 1974: The Fourth Campaign at Tell Hesban, a Preliminary Report. Andrews University Monographs, vol. 9. Berrien Springs, Mich., 1976.
Boraas, Roger S., and Lawrence T. Geraty. Heshbon 1976: The Fifth Campaign at Tell Hesban, a Preliminary Report. Andrews University Monographs, vol. 10. Berrien Springs, Mich., 1978.
Boraas, Roger S., and Lawrence T. Geraty. "The Long Life of Tell Hesban, Jordan." Archaeology 32 (1979): 10-20.
Bullard, Reuben G. "Geological Study of the Heshbon Area." Andrews University Seminary Studies 10 (1972): 129-141.
Cross, Frank Moore. "An Unpublished Ammonite Ostracon from Hesban." In The Archaeology of Jordan and Other Studies Presented to Siegfried H. Horn, edited by Lawrence T. Geraty and Larry G. Herr, pp. 475-489. Berrien Springs, Mich., 1986.
Geraty, Lawrence T., and Leona Glidden Running, eds. Hesban, vol. 3, Historical Foundations: Studies of Literary References to Heshbon and Vicinity. Berrien Springs, Mich., 1989.
Geraty, Lawrence T., and David Merling. Hesban after Twenty-Five Years. Berrien Springs, Mich., 1994. - Reviews the results of the excavations of the Heshbon expedition a quarter-century after its first field season; full bibliography.
Horn, S. H. "The 1968 Heshbon Expedition." Biblical Archaeologist 32 (1969): 26-41.
Ibach, Robert D., Jr. Hesban, vol. 5, Archaeological Survey of the Hesban Region. Berrien Springs, Mich., 1987.
LaBianca, Oystein S., and Larry Lacelle, eds. Hesban, vol. 2, Environmental Foundations: Studies of Climatical, Geological, Hydrological, and Phytological Conditions in Hesban and Vicinity. Berrien Springs, Mich., 1986.
LaBianca, 0ystein S. Hesban, vol. 1, Sedentarization and Nomadization: Food System Cycles at Hesban and Vicinity in Transjordan. Berrien Springs, Mich., 1990.
Lugenbeal, Edward N., and James A. Sauer. "Seventh-Sixth Century B.C. Pottery from Area B at Heshbon." Andrews University Seminary Studies 10 (1972); 21-69.
Mitchel, Larry A. Hesban, vol. 7, Hellenistic and Roman Strata. Berrien Springs, Mich., 1992.
Sauer, James A. Heshbon Pottery 1971: A Preliminary Report on the Pottery from the 1971 Excavations at Tell Hesban. Andrews University Monographs, vol. 7. Berrien Springs, Mich,, 1973.
Sauer, James A. "Area B. " Andrews University Seminary Studies 12 (1974): 35-71
Terian, Abraham, "Coins from the 1968 Excavations at Heshbon." Andrews University Seminary Studies 9 (1971): 147-160.
Vyhmeister, Werner. "The History of Heshbon from Literary Sources. "Andrews University Seminary Studies 6 (1968): 158-177
|En Gedi||possible||8||0.66 cm. thick seismite|