Ships Graffiti in maresha subterranean complex 89

Elie Haddad, Ian Stern, Michal Artzy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Maresha (Marissa), identified with Tell Sandahanna, is situated in the Judaean Shefelah, 35 km east of Ashkelon, about 2 km south of Bet Guvrin (fig. 1). It is mentioned in the Bible (Josh 15:44, 2 Chr 2:7-9, Micah 1:13-15) as well as in Josephus (Ant. 8.246). Maresha is also mentioned in the Zenon papyri (P. Cairo 59015, 58537) recording a journey undertaken by the Ptolemaic tax collector, Zenon, in 259 b.c.e. as well as by Eusebius, who located the site near Bet Guvrin (Onom. 130: 10). Tell Sandahanna has clearly been identified as Marissa by an inscription found in a necropolis in which Sidonians residing in Marissa are mentioned (Peters and Thiersch 1905). This identification has been verified by two Aramaic ostraca discovered in the subterranean complexes that mention the site's name as Maresha (Eshel 2010: 82). The site was partially excavated in 1900 by F. J. Bliss and R. A. S. Macalister (Bliss and Macalister 1902). Renewed excavations have been undertaken since the 1980s under the direction of A. Kloner and since 2000 under that of I. Stern and B. Alpert.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-127
Number of pages8
JournalNear Eastern Archaeology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

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© 2018 American Schools of Oriental Research. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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