Horbat Qazyon
Rachel Hachlili and Ann E. Killebrew

Qazyon Gallery

In April and October 1992 an excavation was conducted at H. Qazyon on behalf of the University of Haifa.
The excavation was directed by R.Hachlili and A.E. Killebrew, with the assistance of O. Tsuf and the participation of W. Schleicher (surveying), O. Tsuf and A. Bar (drafting), Y. Ben-Ephraim, D. Drori, Z. Horowitz, M. Einav, S. Koplis, and H. Keren, B. Mozes, B. Kryspolsky, A. Rotgeiser,V. Romau and A. Roznikov.

The ruins are located in the eastern Upper Galilee, about one kilometer north of Meroth.
Historical information concerning them is scant.
In the Jerusalem Talmud (probably relating to the 3rd century CE) mention is made of R. Yohanan of Qasion (Beitsah 5, 4 63b; Berakhot 8, 7, 12b).

The site was surveyed in the 19th century by various scholars, and the remains of a monumental structure and a lintel with a dedicatory inscription in Greek inscription in Greek were documented. In addition to the monumental structure, the ruins include another structure to its west, the remains of dwellings(?) and rock-hewn kokh graves.
The monumental structure (20 x 37 m) is located in the western sector of the ruins, and is generally oriented north-south. It includes a hall (14 x 26m) and apparently a courtyard extending to its south on a lower level. Only the northern and western walls of the hall were exposed.
The main entrance was in the middle of the northern wall; its threshold remained in place.
A portico was constructed in front of the building; it consisted of a stylobate, of which seven courses (height 3.5 m) of dressed stones plastered on the exterior were intact.
On the stylobate a base and column were found in situ. Three bases and the fragments of another column were found in the pool exposed north of the building.
Between the northern portico and the main entrance, the remains of a passageway paved with stone slabs was discovered.
West of the building, a second pool was discovered; it is linked to the northern pool by a plastered bridge. The northern pool is deeper than its western counterpart. Traces of plaster were
discerned on the inner side of the northern corner of the western pool.
Along the western wall (W2) was a portico consisting of pilasters assembled from large ashlars and regularly spaced c. 2.7 m apart. Their capitals were observed in secondary use in a wall constructed later between the pilasters. At the southern end of the structure's western wall was an entranceway whose threshold was in situ, and which conceivably led to a courtyard.

The lintel (apparently belonging to the entranceway) beating the Greek inscription was found adjacent to this entranceway. In this inscription , the Jews of Qasion dedicated (the structure?) to Emperor Septimius Severus and his family at the end of the 2nd century CE.
West of the entrance is the basin of an ancient olive press.
The finds from the excavation and the surface are mostly comprised of pottery from the Late Roman and Mamluk periods, but also coins from the same periods. One from the city of Tiberias dated to the reign of Herod Antipas (20 CE).
The site's precincts yielded various architectural elements, among them plinths, bases, broken column drums, jambs and parts of an architrave and cornice-found in the hall-as well as fragments of a lintel adorned with metopes and a jamb adorned with grapevine tendrils-both found in the northern pool.
The excavation's findings as of now do not permit the characte adition of the synagogues in this region.

Qazyon Gallery