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Ḥadid, Tel

By Itzhaq Beit-Arieh

IDENTIFICATION

Tel Ḥadid (el-Hadita) lies upon a hill at the eastern edge of the Lod Valley. The tell covers a 10-a. (40-dunam) area and has a commanding view over its surroundings. The site is identified with biblical Ḥadid, mentioned together with Lod and Ono in a list of places settled by returnees from the Babylonian Exile (Ezra 2:33). During the Second Temple period, it is mentioned as a settlement in the territory of the city of Lod that was fortified by Simeon the Hasmonean (1 Macc. 12:38). Josephus notes that during the days of the First Jewish Revolt against Rome, a Roman garrison was located at the city (Antiq. 13, 5–6; 2; War 4, 9, 1). It is also mentioned by Eusebius and appears on the Medeba map. Eshtori Hafarhi identified the site with Ḥadid, writing: “Ḥadid is at the top of a round hill east of Lod, some two hours from Lod and they call it Hadta” (Caftor vaferah 1959: 11, 48). Because of its location, the city controlled the road to Jerusalem and was thus regarded as a site of strategic significance by occupying armies.

In 1940, following reports by local inhabitants, Y. Ory found remains of a structure with a mosaic floor in the southeastern part of the tell. In the framework of the Archaeological Survey of Israel (Map of Lod), rock-cut olive-oil presses, cisterns, and arcosolia tombs were reported in the vicinity of the tell. Iron Age I and II, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman-Byzantine, Early Islamic, and Ottoman sherds were recorded.

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