The circles building (Granary) at Tel Bet Yerah (Khirbet el-Kerak): A new synthesis (Excavations of 1945-1946, 2003-2015)

Raphael Greenberg, Hai Ashkenazi, Alice Berger, Mark Iserlis, Yitzhak Paz, Yael Rotem, Ron Shimelmitz, Melissa Tan, Sarit Paz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


New excavations conducted in the Circles Building (Granary) at Tel Bet Yerah, first excavated in 1946, form the basis for a revised, detailed description of the construction and use of this unique structure. Stratigraphic soundings have established that the structure consisted of three platforms with seven circles sunk into them, enclosing a paved courtyard that was open toward the east. The structure was constructed in a single operation, at the transition between Early Bronze Age II and III, but it seems to have been abandoned before it was completed and given over to new tenants who changed the trajectory of its use. These new inhabitants are responsible for the bulk of the deposits excavated in and around the building, which are characterized by large quantities of Khirbet Kerak Ware and complementary lithic and other assemblages. We suggest that the building was conceived as part of the corporate urbanizing project of Early Bronze Age II, but was overtaken by a crisis that deflected the urban trajectory of Tel Bet Yerah in Early Bronze Age III and allowed the entry of migrant groups, such as those bearing the Khirbet Kerak Ware tradition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-202
Number of pages40
JournalBulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Architecture
  • Bet Yerah
  • Circles Building
  • Early Bronze Age
  • Granary
  • Khirbet Kerak Ware
  • Urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Archaeology


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