The 6th season of Excavations at the Ein Gedi village of the Second
The delegation of the Ein Gedi Oasis Excavations resumed its 6th season of excavations at the Ein Gedi
village that lasted four weeks in January 2008. The excavation was under the auspices of the Hebrew
University in Jerusalem and was enabled by contributions of individuals, funds and the Dead-Sea &
Volunteers from abroad and Israel took part in the excavation, most of them veterans of the former
During the season, we accomplished the exposure of the Southern House, and continued revealing the
lane that separated between the excavated buildings and the Zukim House. We started to excavate the
buildings east of the lane, and completed the dig in the Zukim House. Also, we continued to explore
the inner courtyard of the House of the Roman Key.
A large courtyard was revealed in the Southern House (Locus 6001), including an entrance to two
rooms on its north side. Inside the courtyard, near that entrance, remains of a stove were found and two
ovens were found in the northwest corner. The courtyard's south east corner was revealed under the dirt
road of the mango trees plantation. Attached to that corner, outside of the courtyard, a round
installation plastered with mud and few small lime pieces was excavated.
Beneath half a meter of the courtyard floor, another floor level and walls were exposed. This is an
earlier structure whose plan differs a little from that of the Southern House. Hardly two layers of stones
survived from the earlier house, apparently used for building the later one.
We accomplished the excavation in the Western Room where more than a dozen vessels were found at
the southeast corner (L.6011). Most of them are cooking pots and jugs. Nearby, a large vessel was
found buried in the floor, as was found in the Eastern Room during the last season.
Also, we continued to excavate the Eastern Room through a few habitation levels, and arrived at walls
that probably connected to the Earlier House there (L 6044). Many charcoaled pieces of wood, ash and
Excavation continued in the Roman Key House inner courtyard (L. 6026), which revealed a few broken
jars in the southwest corner, by the oven. Many charcoaled wood pieces were found in the southeast
corner. Nearby, close to the basalt “working plate”, were a few cooking pots, a clay tube link, and two
large pieces of a large soft lime stone vessel. Not far from the courtyard entrance many iron nails were
The exposed area of lane was enlarged, between the houses in the west, and the Zukim House in the
east. We started to clear the slope east of the lane where a wall was found. At the Zukim House, we
cleared the last floor and got below it, to the white virgin soil below (L. 6029).
During the excavation season about 60 coins were found, and a piece of a small lead anchor was found,
like the one found last season. A part of a cosmetic bowl made of alabaster, and parts of soft lime stone
vessels were also found, especially two large ones of a “Kallal”, in addition to the small pieces found
there in the former season, in the same house. Most of the finds date the ruin of the site to the Early
During the next season we will complete the dig at the Kallal Courtyard in the Roman Key House, the
lane and the building attached to it. Also, we will continue to excavate inside the Eastern Room in
order to date the earlier building found there.
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