During archeological salvage excavations recently conducted by the Antiquities Authority on Barzel St. in Ramat Ha'il before the construction of the Physicians' House on the site by the Sufrin Group, an ancient well was uncovered that was used in the Byzantine and early Islamic periods.
During archeological salvage excavations recently conducted by the Antiquities Authority on Barzel St. in Ramat Ha'il before the establishment of the Physicians' House on the site by the Sufrin Group, an ancient well was uncovered that was used in the Byzantine and early Islamic periods (1,400-1,110 years ago).
According to Eli Hadad, the director of the excavation on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, "the find of the well, of the type known as "Antila"' has now been uncovered for the first time in the Tel Aviv area. The importance of the discovery is that it adds information about the aspect of daily life in the Yarkon area 1,400-1,200 years ago, including agriculture. Pumping systems of this type operated in Israel from the Roman period (2000 years ago) onwards, but few have been studied in depth. We can name among them the systems discovered in Tel Ashdod, in Yavne Yam (today near Kibbutz Palmahim) and in Ramla. Wells were also explored along the coastal plain in Atlit and Acre. Such wells have recently been restored in ancient buildings and Bens Ziona."
The well that was discovered is considered sophisticated. Unlike in simple wells, where a person would draw water from the well on his own with buckets, here the well acted as a pumping facility, a "factory" that provided water for agriculture and human needs. The well is located about 150 meters from the bank of Nahal Yarakon, goes down to the groundwater, which is probably more than 9 meters deep, and consists of a vertical shaft with a diameter of about 3.5 meters, lined with ash stones carved from Kurkar. It is possible that above the mouth of the well there was a superstructure that has not been preserved to this day. In the upper part of the well, around the upper wall, pits were exposed for the placement of wooden beams that held the system for pumping the water, which operated by means of a wooden wheel to which a rope was tied to which special jugs (antyls) or other receptacles were attached for this purpose. This wheel was powered by the power of an animal (donkey, ox or camel) that turned a horizontal wheel (starting from the middle of the 19th century, the place of the animal was replaced by an engine, and this can be seen in the many known wells from the Ottoman period, for example in Jaffa, an area where they were used to irrigate orchards) . The horizontal force was transferred to the vertical wheel through a sophisticated gear system. The clay pots (pottery jugs) were tied to ropes and used to raise water in a "moving ribbon" and pour it through a channel into a reservoir from where it was taken for drinking or irrigation. The remains of such a reservoir (plastered pools) were uncovered in the current excavation at a distance of about 15 m from the mouth of the well.
A significant number of jar fragments were found in the excavation, such as date from the Byzantine period, as well as the early Islamic period.
The reservoir that was uncovered in the excavation had a floor made of stone slabs, and it was divided into two compartments, with a gravel wall between them. Remains of buildings from the Byzantine period were also found near the reservoir, probably related to the complex of the well and the reservoir.
According to the find, it can be said that the well was used during the late Byzantine period (sixth and seventh centuries AD) as well as in part of the early Islamic period (seventh and eighth centuries AD). When it ceased to function and was abandoned, the facility was clogged with sand.
The area of Ramat Hay'il is full of archaeological finds. In other excavations conducted in the past nearby, ancient remains attributed to many periods were uncovered. In the area close to the current excavation, excavations were carried out in the past by Dr. Yaakov Kaplan, who uncovered the remains of a Samaritan settlement known as H. Hadera, which is located about one kilometer east-northeast of the site of Asar Tahanah (near Ayalon Mall near Nahal Yarakon). Also, a magnificent burial structure, from the end of the 2nd century or the beginning of the 3rd century AD, and remains of wine-making pits from the Byzantine period were uncovered.