Tell el-Hammam

Tell el-Hammam

Tell el-Hammam (also Tall al-Hammam) is an archaeological site in Jordan, in the eastern part of the lower Jordan Valley close to the mouth of the Jordan River. The site has substantial remains from the Chalcolithic, Early, Intermediate and Middle Bronze Age, and from Iron Age II. There are different attempts at identifying the site with a biblical city.

The site was occupied in the Chalcolithic (c. 4300–3600 BCE), Early Bronze Age (c. 3600–2000 BCE), Middle Bronze Age (c. 2000–1550 BCE), Iron Age II–III (c. 980–332 BCE)[clarification needed],[1] and Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Umayyad periods (163 BCE–750 CE).[2] The most substantial findings are from the Early Bronze Age, Intermediate Bronze Age, and Middle Bronze Age.[3]


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At the bedrock remains of broadhouses were found dating to the Chalcolithic.[citation needed]

Early Bronze Age

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In the Early Bronze Age, Tell el-Hammam was the largest city-state in the Southern Levant.[1]

Early Bronze I

The Early Bronze I (3600-3050) The Chalcolithic broadhouse stone foundations were built over in the Early Bronze I.[citation needed] Apparently, there was continuous occupation from the Chalcolithic into the Early Bronze I.

Early Bronze II

The Early Bronze II (3050-2650)

Early Bronze III

The Early Bronze III (2650-2350) started with a flourishing period that was followed by drier climate from 2500 BC onwards.

Early Bronze IV

The Early Bronze IV (2350-2000) saw the region decline with drought.

Middle Bronze Age Middle Bronze I

During Middle Bronze Age I (MB I; ~2000–1800 BCE) rainfall was more plentiful, and the level of the Dead Sea rose to about 370 mbsl, at least ~ 50 m higher than its current elevation of 430 mbsl.[4]

Middle Bronze II

The Middle Bronze II (1800-1550) was the main period for Tell el-Hammam. The city was protected by walls enclosing an area of 85 acres (34 ha) and was divided into an upper and lower city, while the much larger general occupational area around the walled city covered 240 acres (97 ha).[5] It can be compared in size with Hazor (200 acres (81 ha)) and Ashkelon (150 acres (61 ha)), while Jerusalem and Jericho were only 12 and 10 acres (4.9 and 4.0 ha) respectively.[1]

Late Bronze

Like most sites in the Jordan Valley, it was vacant in the Late Bronze Age (c. 1550–1200 BCE). Only some Late Bronze pottery was discovered in a tomb,[2] and a single freestanding LB2a structure in Field UA on the upper tell.[6] The "Late Bronze Gap" (first named by Flanagan at Tall Nimrin) of c. 550 years is not unique to Tall al-Hammam but characteristic of many of the sites in the Jordan valley (Hebrew kikkār) region,[dubious ] including Tall Iktanu, Tall Kefrein (al-Kefrayn), Tall Nimrin,[7] Tell el-Musṭāḥ, Tall Bleibel (Bulaybil), etc.[8]

Hellenistic period

[clarification needed]

Early Roman, Byzantine, and Early Islamic

Early Roman,[clarification needed] Byzantine, and Early Islamic remains have been excavated between 2005 and 2014. The discoveries included a large Roman bath complex (thermae,[clarification needed] 34.2 m × 40.6 m (112 ft × 133 ft)), aqueduct (165 m (541 ft) exposed), two defensive towers, coins, glass, as well as Roman, Byzantine, and Early Islamic[clarification needed] pottery.[9][10]

^ a b c Collins, Steven; Kobs, Carroll M.; Luddeni, Michael C. (2015). The Tall al-Hammam excavations. Volume one, An introduction to Tall al-Hammam with seven seasons (2005-2011) of ceramics and eight seasons (2005-2012) of artifacts. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns. ISBN 978-1575063690. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Collins2011 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Banks, Rebecca (26 January 2017). "Endangered Archaeology as captured with the Aerial Archaeology in Jordan Project: September 2016 Season: Tell el-Hammam". Oxford: Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East & North Africa (EAMENA) – University of Oxford. Retrieved 1 January 2022. ^ Bunch et al 2021 ^ Collins & Scott (2013), p. 157 ^ Collins, Steven; Byers, Gary A.; Kobs, Caroll M. (2015). "Tall El-Hammam Season Ten, 2015: Excavation, Survey, Interpretations And Insights". Biblical Research Bulletin. Trinity Southwest University. 15 (1): 1–37. ISSN 1938-694X. ^ Flanagan, James W.; McCreery, David W.; Yassine, Khair N. (1994). "Tell Nimrin: Preliminary Report on the 1993 Season". Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan. 38: 207. ^ Cite error: The named reference Collins2006 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Cite error: The named reference Graves was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Graves, David Elton (2021). Collins, Steven; Byers, Gary; Stripling, D. Scott (eds.). A Preliminary Report on the Tall al-Ḥammām Excavation Project: Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Remains, Field LR (2005–2017). Electronic Christian Media. ISBN 979-8748800105.
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