Excavations at Omrit, Israel
Omrit, the name of a low hill among the western foothills of the Golan Heights and below Mt. Hermon in northern Israel, had a long history of human occupation and building activity. In the Late Hellenistic and Roman periods, Omrit was home to a sanctuary consisting of a Corinthian temple standing within a walled temenos. Over the next 100 years, the sanctuary was enlarged in two successive stages with new temple replacing the old. Today, much of each temples' podia stand intact. In the 4th to 6th centuries, Omrit became a large industrial town, with tightly-packed shops, agricultural installations and houses filling in and re-using the older Roman period colonnaded street. The site continued to grow at this time and expanded towards the east. In the 13th century, after a long period of abandonment, the former temple precinct and portion of the town to the north became a small 13th century cemetery.
The mission of the archaeological fieldwork at Omrit is twofold: to provide students an
educational experience of a lifetime and to excavate scientifically and
professionally the archaeological remains. Digging began in 1999 and every summer since, a group of 20-30 students take to the field led by an international team of scholars and researchers for a five week season to excavate different portions of the site. From 1999 to 2011, excavations concentrated on the temple precinct. Beginning in 2012, the project has started a 5-year research program focusing on the settlement portion of site with excavations to the north and east of the temple precinct.
The excavations of the temple precinct area of the site came to completion in 2011. A preliminary report of these excavations was published also in 2011. The final report is in preparation and under contract with Brill, Leiden with the first of three volumes expected in 2014.
The next stage of research began in 2012 with the exploration and excavation of the settlement portions of Omrit. A preliminary report of the first two seasons, 2012 and 2013, was delivered at the 115th Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in Chicago, January 2-5, 2014.
The Temple Complex: Publications and Presentations
Nelson, M.C. Volume 1: The Architecture. In J.A. Overman, D.N. Schowalter and M.C. Nelson (eds), The Temple Complex at Horvat Omrit. Boston, Leiden: E.J. Brill (forthcoming).
Overman, J.A., D.N. Schowalter and M.C. Nelson. 2013. “Building on the Border: The Early Shrine Complex at Omrit.” 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research, Baltimore. November 20-23.
Overman, J.A., D.N. Schowalter and M.C. Nelson. 2011. Horbat ‘Omrit – 2009, Preliminary Report. Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel, Vol. 123.
Overman, J.A., D.N. Schowalter and M.C. Nelson. 2010. “Placing the Temple Complex at Omrit: Ancillary Architecture, Decorative and Epigraphic Evidence, and Regional Identity.” 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research, Atlanta, Nov. 17-20, 2010.
Overman, J.A., D.N. Schowalter and M.C. Nelson. 2009. “Excavations at Omrit, 2007-2008: Investigating a Roman Temple in Northern Israel.” Annual Meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research, New Orleans, November 18-21, 2009.
Nelson, M.C. 2009. “Omrit: From Roadside Shrine to City?” Greco-Roman Galilee Symposium at Kinneret College and Tel Hai College, Israel, June 21-23.
Nelson, M.C. and J. Thole. 2009. “Stucco Fluting the Columns of the Roman Temple at Omrit, Israel.” JRA 22, 349-354.
Overman, J.A., D.N. Schowalter and M.C. Nelson. 2007. Horbat ‘Omrit 2007. Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel, Vol. 119.
Overman, J.A., J. Olive and M.C. Nelson. 2007. “A Newly Discovered Herodian Temple at Khirbet Omrit in Northern Israel.” In N. Kokkinos (ed.), The World of Herods and Nabataeans. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag GmbH, 2007, 177-195.
Nelson, M.C. 2007. “Recent Developments in the Excavations at Omrit,” Roman Conference on Galilee, June 25-26. Tel Hai College, Israel.
Schowalter, D.N. and M.C. Nelson. 2007. “Architecture and Power in Northern Roman Palestine.” Seventeenth Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference, University College, London, March 29.
Overman, J.A., D.N. Schowalter and M.C. Nelson. 2007. “Macalester College Excavations at Omrit: The 2004-2006 Field Seasons,” 108th Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, San Diego, Jan. 4-7.
Overman, J.A. and M.C. Nelson. 2004. “A Recently Discovered Roman Imperial Site on the Road to Damascus: The Corinthian Temple,” 105th Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, San Francisco, Jan. 2-5.
Overman, J.A., J. Olive and M.C. Nelson. 2003. “Discovering Herod’s Shrine to Augustus: Mystery Temple Found at Omrit.” BAR March/April 29:2, 40-67.
The Settlement Areas: Publications, Presentations, and Popular Media
Ancient Roman House and Phallic Amulets Discovered in Israel
Roman House Unearthed in Israel
Des canards, stars d’une découverte datant de 1900 ans dans le nord d’Israël
20 mai 2017 Iyyar 24,
The Times of Israël, Français
Schowalter,D.N., M.C. Nelson, B. Rubin, J. Schlute and J. Gates-Foster. 2014. “The Settlement at Omrit: Preliminary Results and Future Plans.” 115th Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America. Chicago, January 2-5.