site located about 200 m east of Tel Shadud (map reference 1724 × 2294), on the northwest edge of Israel's Jezreel (Esdraelon) plain. The site, unknown to archaeologists until 1979, was almost completely destroyed by modern construction. Its ancient name is obscure; its present identification is derived from the name of an adjacent spring.
Salvage excavations were carried out under the direction of Eliot Braun and Shimon Gibson of the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums in two areas, A and B. Separated by an unexcavated strip 20 m wide, the areas yielded evidence of two successive occupational strata.
Stratum II, the earlier stratum, was established on virgin soil and was represented by a number of disjointed, fragmentary stone wall foundations and one partially sunken rectangular broadroom. Its pebble-paved floor, bench-lined interior, and large flat stone pillar bases are in keeping with Early Bronze I architectural traditions. One corner was occupied by a basalt-paved grinding installation on which several basalt querns were found.
The stratum I houses, constructed directly on top of the remains of the earlier buildings, were similarly oriented. Although somewhat better preserved, the structures in this level suffered from changes in elevations that produced a warping effect: originally horizontal layers were pushed up in places and were undulating rather than level.
A sausage-shaped house with parallel walls ending in two opposing, curvilinear apses—otherwise typically a broad-room with internal benches and stone pillar bases—was associated with this stratum. Its affinities with early northern EB I curvilinear constructions, such as those found at Yiftaḥel II (Braun, 1985–1986), Tel Teo V–IV (Eisenberg, 1989), and Palmahim Quarry 3, are somewhat modified by its broadroom. Similar contemporary structures have been uncovered at Qiryat Ata II (Eliot Braun and A. Golani, “Kiryat Ata,” Hadashot Archeologiot, in press [Hebrew]), Tel Kabri (Scheftelowitz, 1992), and Megiddo, stage IV (Engberg and Shipton, 1934, fig. 2).
Completely rectilinear buildings, some with deliberately rounded corners, are also associated with the stratum I occupation at ῾Ein-Shadud. They exhibit two building phases, in the latter of which there is a marked tendency toward thickening walls.
Additional structures—including a double broadroom with a flagstone floor, several curvilinear walls, and fragmentary pebbled surfaces—were also encountered in the excavations. However, because of the site's poor state of preservation, they could not be attributed to either stratum.
In agreement with the architectural evidence for continuity is a collection of well-stratified diagnostic pottery types that show strata II and I to be roughly contemporary and of relatively brief duration.
A quantity of late-style bowls of Gray-Burnished (Esdraelon) Ware emphasizes a somewhat early date on the EB I horizon for the overall occupation. Ceramics typical of this assemblage, indicating a somewhat advanced (post-Yiftaḥel II) and northern facies of the EB I, include red-slipped and burnished vessels, rail-rim and bow-rim pithoi, hemispherical bowls with conical projections, and grain-wash decoration.
The flint tool kit (Rosen, 1985), based on analysis of all artifacts, including cores and debitage, is significant for its sizable collection of locally produced “ad hoc” tools and an imported Canaanean blade component, including sickles.
Evidence that grains were harvested and flour produced is found in sickle blades with gloss and numerous grinding stones. An osteological study (Horwitz, 1985) suggests that animal husbandry must also have played a significant part in the economy of the ῾Ein-Shadud villages. Sheep, goat, cattle, pig, and ass appear in quantities sufficient to suggest their utilization for primary and secondary products, as well as possibly being employed as beasts of burden.
Trade and outside contacts seem to have been limited and probably extended only over short distances. Shared architectural and ceramic styles; lithic imports, including flint and some ground stone objects; and occasional instances of the use of cylinder seals, probably by itinerant potters, brought this village into contact with contemporary settlements, especially within the Jezreel plain. Presumably, small surpluses would have been used to barter for imported goods.
[See also Yiftaḥel.]
- Braun, Eliot. En Shadud: Salvage Excavations at a Farming Community in the Jezreel Valley, Israel. British Archaeological Reports, International Series, no. 249. Oxford, 1985.
- Braun, Eliot. “Of Megarons and Ovals: New Aspects of Late Prehistory in Israel.” Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society 6 (1985–1986): 17–26.
- Eisenberg, Emmanuel. “Chalcolithic and Early Bronze I Occupations at Tel Teo.” In L'urbanisation de la Palestine à l'âge du Bronze ancien: Bilan et perspectives des recherches actuelles; Actes du Colloque d'Emmaüs, 20–24 octobre 1986, edited by Pierre de Miroschedji, vol. 1, pp. 29–40. British Archaeological Reports, International Series, no. 527. Oxford, 1989.
- Engberg, Robert, and Geoffrey Shipton. Notes on the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Pottery of Megiddo. University of Chicago, Oriental Institute, Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilizations, no. 10. Chicago, 1934.
- Horwitz, Liora K. “Appendix C: The En Shadud Faunal Remains.” In En Shadud: Salvage Excavations at a Farming Community in the Jezreel Valley, Israel, edited by Eliot Braun, pp. 168–177. British Archaeological Reports, International Series, no. 249. Oxford, 1985.
- Rosen, Steven A. “Appendix B: The En Shadud Lithics.” In En Shadud: Salvage Excavations at a Farming Community in the Jezreel Valley, Israel, edited by Eliot Braun, pp. 153–167. British Archaeological Reports, International Series, no. 249. Oxford, 1985.
- Scheftelowitz, Na'ama. “Area B: Architecture, Stratigraphy, and Pottery.” In Excavations at Kabri 6: Preliminary Report of 1991 Season, edited by Aharon Kempinski and Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier, p. 1. Tel Aviv, 1992.