BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Byzantine Hammer and Nails Found at Ancient Usha

The Israel Antiquities Authority has announced that the community excavation at Usha has discovered a 1,400-year-old Byzantine hammer and nails. This is one of only six Byzantine hammers to have been found in Israel. This specific discovery was made by a volunteer family, among 8,500 volunteers conducting community excavations over the recent Sukkot holidays.

 

1,400 year-old iron hammer and nails.

The 1,400 year-old iron hammer and nails that were found at Usha, October 2019.
Photo: Yoli Schwartz, Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Usha, an ancient city in the western Galilee, is where the Sanhedrin–the central Jewish council–reformed after the defeat of Bar Kokhba, whose revolt in 135 C.E. led the Jewish people to a devastating defeat at the hands of the Romans.

Ancient wine glasses found at the site provide evidence of widespread glass manufacture at Usha.
Photo: Yaniv Berman, Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The excavations at Usha, led by Yair Amitzur and Eyad Bisharat for the Israel Antiquities Authority, have found the remnants of extensive glass manufacture, glass vessels as well as the lumps that formed the raw material for manufacture. They have also uncovered oil and winepresses. Two ritual baths made of rock with plastered steps and walls were discovered nearby. These baths, built during the Roman and Byzantine periods, suggest that the olive oil and wine were processed according to Jewish law in ritual purity.

Aerial View of Usha

Aerial view of the winepresses and adjacent ritual bath at Ancient Usha.
Photo: Assaf Peretz, Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Like the Byzantine Hammer and nails, all that has been discovered serves as tools to help researchers better understand ancient Jewish life in the Galilee. The Usha excavations are only one part of the IAA’s Sanhedrin Trail Project, following the path of the Sanhedrin from Bet Shearim to Tiberias.


Explore more related information in Bible History Daily

“Byzantine Church Dedicated to “Glorious Martyr” Discovered Near Jerusalem”

“Byzantine Jewelry and Other Precious Finds Uncovered in Ancient Dump”

“Resurrecting a Byzantine Synagogue at Um el-Kanatir”

“Ancient “Brain Scoop” Found on Mummy’s CT Scan”

Explore so much more in the BAS Library, containing all of Biblical Archaeology Review, Bible Review, Archaeology Odyssey, and so much more. Join the BAS Library today.

Related Posts

Dec 13
Who Was Jesus’ Biological Father?

By: Biblical Archaeology Society Staff

Dec 11
First Person: Introducing the New BAR

By: Robert Cargill

BAS Logo
Dec 11
Scholarship Winners Speak Up

By: BAS Staff


1 Responses

  1. Dennis says:

    The hammer head shape is interesting as it looks to be designed for both large spikes using the broad end, and for smaller spikes/nails using the somewhat pointed end. Both a large spike and a smaller spike/nail are seen next to the head in the worker’s left hand.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


1 Responses

  1. Dennis says:

    The hammer head shape is interesting as it looks to be designed for both large spikes using the broad end, and for smaller spikes/nails using the somewhat pointed end. Both a large spike and a smaller spike/nail are seen next to the head in the worker’s left hand.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Send this to a friend