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Achzib

An update to Vol. 1, pp. 32–36.

By Eilat Mazar

THE NORTHERN CEMETERY

During the Iron Age II and Persian period, three cemeteries were in simultaneous use around Tel Achzib. They are located to the north, east, and south of the tell. The northern cemetery is on the seashore some 50 m north of the tell and has been excavated over eight short seasons: three directed by M. Prausnitz (1979–1982), a joint season directed by M. Prausnitz and E. Mazar (1984), and four seasons under the direction of E. Mazar (1992–2004).

The earliest remains at the northern cemetery site are of a built installation that included a platform and a pool with a settling pit, covered in layers of high-quality plaster. The purpose of this installation is not yet understood. It may have been related to the production of purple dye from mollusks. The installation went out of use when an ashlar-built tomb chamber was constructed next to it. The pool filled up with sherds dated to the tenth century BCE; at its uppermost level was found a complete jug of that period. Upon the surface of the platform were several isolated child inhumation burials, apparently related to the individuals buried in the adjacent ashlar-built tomb (TN1). Similar child inhumation burials outside ashlar-built chamber tombs and adjacent to them were also discovered inside pottery vessels in the southern cemetery.

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