A New Look at the Water Systems at Khirbet el-Hamam (Narbata)

Yair Elmakayes, David Ben-Shlomo, Amos Frumkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Khirbet el-Hamam is a site in northwestern Samaria whose remains, dating from the tenth century BCE to the second century CE, indicate that it was a substantial settlement in the region. Adam Zertal, the original excavator, identified it as biblical Arubboth. This article presents an updated description of the site's Hellenistic-Roman period reservoirs, only partially described in previous research, and an analysis of the water system's strategic importance during the Roman siege of the town. In addition, an earlier, previously unknown water system is presented, which is suggested to belong to the Iron Age II town. Examining the reservoirs as strategic urban assets provides an updated perspective on the site's history.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-72
Number of pages17
JournalIsrael Exploration Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Hellenistic period
  • Iron Age II
  • Khirbet el-Hamam
  • Narbata
  • Roman period
  • northwestern Samaria
  • plaster
  • water system


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