Elah Valley: Archaeological Survey

Archaeological Survey in Search of the Judaean Achzib

Erasmus Gass (Tübingen)

Looking from South to Achzib

Looking from South to Achzib

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.

Further Information
  • E. Gass / B. Zissu, The Identification of Biblical Achzib at Khirbet ‘Ēn el-Kizbe in the Judean Shephelah, and the Origins of Shimon bar Kokhba: Maeir, A. M. et al. (ed.), „Go Out and Study the Land“ (Judges 18:2) FS H. Eshel (Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 148), Leiden 2012, 379 – 428.

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