Elah Valley: Archaeological Survey
Archaeological Survey in Search of the Judaean Achzib
Erasmus Gass (Tübingen)
Ḫirbet ‘Ēn el-Kizbe is located in the Shephelah on the southeastern slopes of the Bēt Neṭṭīf hills. A nearby spring, ‘Ēn el-Kizbe, provides fresh water. The location of Ḫirbet ‘Ēn el-Kizbe allows control of the Elah valley with its ancient road leading to Jerusalem.
The size of the site is approximately 2 ha. It consists of an upper and a lower area. Most of its walls seem to have been removed by the inhabitants of nearby villages. Pottery finds of the survey include sherds from the Iron Age II (with lmlk-stamped handle), Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Periods. The site was most probably destroyed during the Bar Kokhba revolt and was not rebuilt in later times. The archaeological results of the survey support the assumption that Ḫirbet ‘Ēn el-Kizbe might be Chezib / Chozeba and perhaps also Achzib. Furthermore, it is possible that Ḫirbet ‘Ēn el-Kizbe was the birthplace of Shimon Bar Kokhba.
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