Date of Award

1983

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, Old Testament Studies PhD

First Advisor

Lawrence T. Geraty

Second Advisor

William H. Shea

Third Advisor

Abraham Terian

Abstract

Problem. The purpose of the present study was to identify the Byzantine evidence from the Tell Hesban Excavations in Jordan and delineate site-wide strata parameters within this period.

Method. The Byzantine remains from the site were identified through an analysis of the excavators' field notes and balk drawings. Field ceramic readings and stratigraphic relationships determined the period, stratum, and stage to which a locus belonged.

Results. The Byzantine evidence from Tell Hesban fell into four strata. The transition from the Late Roman period was not very distinct from a cultural viewpoint and came about the middle of the 4th century A.D. Stratum 10 was the earliest Byzantine stratum. The dates assigned to the four strata were as follows: Stratum 10 (A.D. 363-408); Stratum 9 (A.D. 408-527); Stratum 8 (A.D. 527-614); Stratum 7 (A.D. 614-636).

Heavy commercial activity took place during the time of Strata 10 and 9, but decreased sharply in the later strata. A church was constructed on the Acropolis in the middle of the 5th century A.D. It was probably destroyed by an earthquake early in the 6th century A.D. In the Stratum 8 period this church was rebuilt and two other churches were added to the site. The Acropolis Church was again destroyed early in the 7th century A.D. Stratum 7 was a period of decline in both the population and the extent of the settlement.

Conclusion. The findings of this study seem to support the broad outline of Byzantine history in Palestine as known from other excavations and the literary sources. This includes the economic and religious situations.

Subject Area

Ḥisbān, Tall (Jordan)

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