The Givat Sher-Modi'in Community-Based Excavation: Preliminary Report on the 2004-6 Seasons

Yoav Farhi, Yuval Gadot, David Ilan, Jessie Pincus-Benavraham, Itamar Taxel, Levana Tsfania, Shlomit Bechar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The site of Horvat Sher (Umm es-Sur in Arabic, grid reference OIG 1431 1491) is a small settlement site dating to the Hellenistic, Byzantine, Early Islamic and Mamliik periods. The site is located in the Modi'in hills (the northern Shephela of Israel), traditionally in the hinterland of Lod. The hills surrounding H. Sher have always supported various agrarian activities: horticulture, dry farming, viticulture and pastoralism. The site was fIrst mentioned in the publication of the British Survey of Western Palestine, conducted at the close of the 19th century (Conder & Kitchener 1882: 161) and regularly visited during the 1930s by inspectors of the mandatory Palestinian Department of Antiquities. Written reports found at the archive of the Palestinian Department of Antiquities mention the 'ruins of a church' but the lack of details in these reports prevent us from knowing what exactly was seen at the site that led the inspectors to recognise a church there (but see Ovadiah & de Silva 1984: 144). Thereafter the site was visited by several archaeological surveyors, who reported various features - stone columns, walls and strange stone edifices of unknown function (Israel Antiquity Authority Archives; Shavit not published).! Ten years ago, as the new city of Modi' in sprung up in the surrounding hills (Fig. 1) - today with more than 50,000 inhabitants - H. Sher and the hill to its east were declared an 'archaeological park' (named 'Givat Sher') preserving both the natural environment and human heritage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-147
Number of pages59
StatePublished - 2009

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • History


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