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Cistern, 9th-11th century

Cistern

Cistern Contents

Exploration of a ninth- to eleventh-century C.E. cistern led to the discovery of several ceramic oil lamps and many items of bronze jewelry and cosmetic containers. The two shallow bowls probably held cosmetics (the cover to the smaller bowl is to the right of the larger bowl). At upper right is half of a bracelet; below it is a bronze hinge to a now-disintegrated wooden box. Two small tweezers are at lower right; the elaborately carved object at center was a handle to a mirror. The large tweezer-like object at center, common in the Levant, was used to move burning pieces of wood in fires for cooking or for light. A house stood directly above the cistern; no doubt the cosmetic items belonged to the mistress of the house. She may have been living there when the earthquake of 1033 C.E. forced the inhabitants out, bringing to a temporary end Tiberias’ 1,000-year history.

Tiberias- Preview of Coming Attractions, Yizhar Hirschfeld, BAR 17-02, Mar-Apr 1991.

Posted in: Early Arab Period

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