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Title: Rehob  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: List of biblical names starting with R, Helbah, Rehov, Gershonite, List of surviving and destroyed Canaanite cities
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Rehob redirects here. "To rehob" may mean "to carry out again the process of hobbing", or "to put new hobnails in a hobnailed boot".
Tell Rehov
Shown within Israel

32°27′26″N 35°29′54″E / 32.457125°N 35.498242°E / 32.457125; 35.498242

Rehov (also Rehob), meaning "broad", "wide place",[1] was an important Bronze and Iron Age city located at Tel Rehov (Hebrew: תל רחוב‎), an archaeological site in the Jordan Valley, Israel, approximately 5 km south of Beit She'an and 3 km west of the Jordan River. The site represents one of the largest ancient city mounds in Israel, its surface area comprising 120,000 m² in size, divided into an "Upper City" (40,000 m²) and a "Lower City" (80,000 m²). The oldest known archaeological finds relating to beekeeping were discovered at Rehov.[2] Rehov was a joint Israelite-Canaanite city, and had an estimated population of 2,000.

Archaeological excavations

Archaeological excavations have been conducted at Rehov almost every year since 1997 under the directorship of Amihai Mazar, Professor at the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and with the primary sponsorship of John Camp.

Rehov has emerged as a site of much archaeological importance. The Iron Age II levels of the site, in particular, have emerged as a vitally important component in the current debate regarding the chronology of the United Monarchy of Israel. Important data has also been forthcoming regarding the Early Bronze Age, Late Bronze Age and medieval occupation of the site.

Mazar's site supervisors at Rehov have included Paul James Cowie (Area E), Robert Mullins (Areas A and B), Nava Panitz-Cohen (Area C), Amir Sumaqai-Fink (Area D), Dalit Weinblatt-Krauss (Area B), Adi Ziv-Esudri (Areas F and G) and Nachum Applbaum (computers and website). The burden of the work is achieved each year by students and volunteers from universities and colleges in Israel, the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and several other countries.

Ancient beehives

In September 2007 it was reported that that 30 intact beehives and the remains of 100-200 more dated to the mid-10th century BCE to the early 9th century BCE were found by archaeologists in the ruins of Rehov.[3] The beehives were evidence of an advanced honey-producing beekeeping (apiculture) industry 3000 years ago in the city, then thought to have a population of about 2000 residents at that time, both Israelite and Canaanite. The beehives, made of straw and unbaked clay, were found in orderly rows of 100 hives.[4] Previously, references to honey in ancient texts of the region (such as the phrase "land of milk and honey" in the Hebrew Bible) were thought to refer only to honey derived from dates and figs; the discoveries show evidence of commercial production of bee honey and beeswax.

In addition to beehives, the remains of bees and bee larvae and pupae were also found. In 2010, using DNA from the remains of bees found at the site, researchers identified the bees as a subspecies, similar to the Anatolian bee, found now only in what is modern-day Turkey. It is possible that the bees' range has changed, but more likely that the inhabitants of Tel Rehov imported bees because they were less aggressive than the local bees and provided a better honey yield (three to eight times higher than Israel’s native bees).[5]

Archaeological finds also showed evidence of widespread commerce between the Land of Israel and the Eastern Mediterranean, and techniques for the transfer of bees in large pottery vases or portable beehives. An Assyrian stamp from the 8th century BCE provides evidence that bees had been brought 400 kilometers south from the Taurus Mountains of southern Turkey.[6]

The beehives were dated by carbon-14 radiocarbon dating at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, using organic material (wheat found next to the beehives).

Ezra Marcus of the University of Haifa, said the finding was a glimpse of ancient beekeeping seen in Near Eastern texts and ancient art. Religious practice was evidenced by an altar decorated with fertility figurines found alongside the hives. [7][8][9]


External links

  • Tel Rehov Excavations - page includes volunteer information, preliminary reports and an image gallery.
  • Amihai Mazar, director of the Tel Rehov excavations..
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