In the excavations in Biblical Moza numerous finds were discovered dating to both phases of the Iron Age II – the Iron II A (10th – 9th centuries BCE) and the Iron IIB (8th – beginning of the 6th centuries BCE).
Strata VII and VI are both attributed to the first phase. They are separated by a massive burnt layer that is ascribed to Shishak’s campaign to the Land of Israel in 925 BCE. The existence of this destruction layer in Moza and the mention of other places in the description of Shishak’s campaign on the walls of the Temple of Amon in Karnak, allude to events that occurred in the region during the later part of the 10th century BCE. These events along with the biblical story, and in view of the results of recent excavations in the ancient heart of Jerusalem, have considerable implications on our understanding of what transpired in Jerusalem and its periphery during this period.
Strata V and IV are ascribed to the second phase of the Iron Age II. These strata constitute the lion’s share of the remains at the site and they are characterized by a large field of silos which seem to have been used in both levels. Also attributed to these strata is a storehouse that was built in connection with the silos and in which more than 130 hole-mouth vessels were discovered. A large colonnaded building (Building 500) that was built in connection with the silo pits at the site should also be ascribed to the last phase of the Iron Age. This building’s architecture and the small finds that were discovered within it allude to its public nature, and possibly also to cultic activity conducted inside it. Noteworthy among the small finds is a captivating object made of ‘Egyptian blue’, in the shape of the head of a scepter and fashioned like a pomegranate. Two incised carvings were exposed in the building’s collapse on which the name ‘Nasas’ appears, which may be identified with the role of the standard bearer.
The silo complex in Strata V and IV, like Building 500 and the scepter head and the inscriptions that were found in it, is unequivocal evidence that the site at Moza was not just a farmhouse or regular village.
Relying on archaeological and ethnographic evidence and on data from the field of experimental archaeology, we have determined the silos were used for storing grain. The volume and weight of the grain that could be stored in the silos and hole-mouth vessels greatly exceeds the requirements needed to sustain the residents of the place. This finding, together with other archaeological data, raise the possibility that the surplus grain in Moza was intended for marketing and to supply the capital city of Jerusalem.
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