Magnetic Prospecting at Nysa-Scythopolis (Tell Iẓṭabba): Deciphering Urban Planning at a Newly Founded Hellenistic Town of the Decapolis

Achim Lichtenberger, Cornelius Meyer, Oren Tal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Tell Iẓṭabba is located close to the modern town of Beth She'an (Israel), and was where the Seleucid foundation of the later Decapolis city of Nysa-Scythopolis was established in the early 2nd century BCE. As a result, the site is of major importance for studying Hellenization processes in the Levant. This paper presents the results of magnetic prospections carried out on Tell Iẓṭabba (East) in February 2019, as part of a broader German-Israeli research collaboration aimed at high-resolution archaeological investigations of the site and its settlement history. After discussing the methods used, some preliminary conclusions are drawn about the extent of surface cover, with speculation on the nature of the remains, as suggested by the survey data. The authors conclude that while earlier, limited excavations have suggested that the urban design was that of a town laid out according to an orthogonal plan, these current results suggests that the town plan was in fact oriented according to the natural topography and only partially followed an orthogonal system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-70
Number of pages26
JournalSTRATA: Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society
Volume38
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Beth sheʾan
  • Decapolis towns
  • Hellenistic
  • Magnetic prospection
  • Tell iẓṭabba
  • Urban planning

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • History
  • Language and Linguistics

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