Remains from the Hellenistic period were exposed in the continuation of the excavations first conducted by the American expedition, on Tel Bet Shean (Map1:2) and especially on Tel Iztabba, north of Nahal Harod (1.5). In the excavations at Tel Bet Shean (Tell el-Hozan) the American expedition uncovered numismatic evidence in their excavations, consisting mainly of a hoard of silver tetradrachmae, along with pottery vessels and Rhodian jar handles that date to the middle of the 3rd century BCE. However, the American’s did not find any unequivocal strategraphic or architectural evidence in their excavations for the existence of a city dating to this period and the architectural remains that were exposed mainly date to the 2nd century CE. The remains of the Temple of Zeus Akraios that were found on the tell and were dated by the first excavators to the Hellenistic period have been re-dated by M. Fischer to the beginning of the 2nd century CE. With the renewal of the excavations on the western fringes of the tell (Area P) a similar picture was revealed that includes a residential complex rich in finds dating to the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE.


The excavation of the Hellenistic stratum on Tell Iztabba (1.5) exposed the remains of a large well-planned walled city that was divided by an orthogonal network of streets into blocks, some of which were occupied with residential dwellings and some with public buildings. The residential buildings were built in two stories around a courtyard and numerous finds were discovered in them including Rhodian jar handles, coins, loom weights, sling stones, and many pottery vessels. A hoard of 120 bullae that originated in a private archive was recovered from one of the dwellings. The walls of the houses were built of sun-dried mudbricks set on basalt foundations and were treated with colored plaster to imitate ashlar construction. The city was destroyed in a violent conquest and in the collapse of the houses it was possible to differentiate between the ruins of the second and first stories and their ceiling components. Numerous finds were also exposed that clearly originated in the first and second floors of the buildings. The city streets that separate the blocks have maintained their orthogonal plan; they were found paved, 2-3 m wide, with drainage systems that were situated below them. Parts of several large public buildings were also excavated, some of which had rooms that were arranged around a central courtyard. Architectural remains that were found inside them indicated that the stoa columns in these buildings were adorned with Ionic capitals.