The Beisan Expedition

Originally Published in 1931

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EXCAVATION at Beisan has been completed for this season. The closing weeks of the season were spent, at the main site on Tell el Hosn, in completing the clearance of the area excavated during the winter, down to the foundations of the stratum which has been hitherto provisionally known as the Rameses II level. Allowing for the natural slope of the summit of the mound, the level of the floors and thresholds in this stratum has been found to be very consistent, forming a coherent plan of rooms, all of which might naturally be supposed to belong to a single period, namely, that of the two temples excavated in 1925 and attributed to Rameses II.

Three pieces of a stone lintel with inscriptions
Plate X — Door Lintel with Inscriptions of Rameses III, Beisan, Palestine
Image Number: 30006

An important find, however, now shows that a somewhat later date must be assigned to some of these rooms and perhaps also to the temples. Immediately beneath a stone foundation, similar to all the others of this level, were found two of the three fragments which fit together and compose somewhat more than half of a large limestone door-lintel which bears the cartouches and titles of Rameses III. [Plate X]. Kneeling before these inscriptions is an inscribed figure of Rameses-Weser-Khepesh, who is already known by two inscriptions as a high official in Beth-Shan and who, in all likelihood, was the builder of one of the temples. It therefore, seems quite probable that some of this level at least belongs to the period of Rameses III rather than of Rameses II.

In addition to the lintel fragments, two inscribed stone door-jambs were found, and, when excavations are resumed in the future, it may be hoped that further inscribed stones may be forthcoming. In another part of the area, two large stone thresholds were found under the wall foundations, but it has not been determined whether these were in situ or had been brought from another level as being serviceable stones upon which to build a wall.

Ten coins showing various byzantine stamps
Plate XI — Byzantine Coins of About A.D. 600 from Beisan, Palestine
Image Number: 30038

It is with gratification that we are able to announce that, in the division of objects found this year, the Museum was awarded the very fine gold necklace, the bracelet, and the gold coins described in the December Bulletin, which had also an illustration of the necklace. The coins are now shown in Plate XI. These pieces, together with the other objects that comprise the Museum’s share, will make a notable addition to our collections. Such finds as this golden treasure, and the discovery of the monastery with its extraordinary mosaics, have made the season just concluded a most successful one.

Cite This Article

"The Beisan Expedition." Museum Bulletin II, no. 5 (March, 1931): 163-166. Accessed May 18, 2024.

This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

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