What is Khirbet Mazra'a?
Khirbet Mazra'a was excavated by University of Southern California professors and student volunteers in 1968 and this excavation was funded by the university. The professors and students excavated the site for only one summer, but they still performed significant work and brought back plenty of material and notes with them for study. All of these excavation notes, photographs, and artifacts are a goldmine of information about a specific place and span of time. For reasons unknown the excavators did not publish or organize the material when they returned. Although there have been several individual student projects about artifacts from the site, there has never before been an effort to view the site in its entirety. This research web project is only the beginning of a longer and larger effort to put on the web, research, and publish this site.
Where is Khirbet Mazra'a?
Khirbet Mazra'a is located in Israel at most one mile East from the famous archaeological site of Tel Dor just beyond the Fish Ponds. The most recent excavations of Tel Dor have been directed by Ilan Sharon of the Hebrew University and Ayelet Gilboa of Haifa University. It is a very extensive project that has a number of group directors and volunteers.
Khirbet Mazra'a was divided into eight Areas and three tombs. The Areas refer to the trenches that were excavated. The site plan and topographic maps can be seen to the right. Click on the thumbnails to view the images. This research project looks at the Levels 1, 2, and 3, the three closest to the surface, of Area I of the site. Levels are an archaeological term used to describe the different stratigraphic levels of a trench. These three Levels are thus far dated to the 12th and 13th centuries.
The Researchers and their Tasks
This portion of the project focuses on the top three levels of the site labeled as Levels 1, 2, and 3. Since three people are working on this project, the research was divided into three sections: Georgiana Nikias researched the architecture, Kristin Butler researched the pottery, and Hannah Marcuson researched the turkish pipes. Throughout the project we constantly collaborated and through these three sections began to build the story of the top three layers Khirbet Mazra'a. We plan to continue doing so until the site itself has been properly researched and published to the calibur of excavations carried out today.
Note: If you have a pop-up blocker on your computer, we advise that you temporarily remove it from this website so that you are able to view the larger images.
This website recently won 1st Place in the Humanities catagory in the 2006 University of Southern California Undergraduate Research Symposium and the Academic Energy Award.