Galilee Blooming: First Palynological and Archaeological Data from an Early Byzantine Cistern at Horvat Kur

Neumann, Frank H.; Zangenberg, Jürgen K.; Shivti'el, Yinon; Münger, Stefan (2014). Galilee Blooming: First Palynological and Archaeological Data from an Early Byzantine Cistern at Horvat Kur. Environmental archaeology, 19(1), pp. 39-54. Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group 10.1179/1749631413Y.0000000004

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Preliminary archaeological and palynological results are presented from an early Byzantine cistern of the village Horvat Kur in eastern Lower Galilee/Israel. The rural site was settled from the Hellenistic until the Early Arab period, its synagogue was constructed shortly after 425 AD and renovated sometimes during the 2nd half of the 6th century AD. It was abandoned probably as a consequence of the earthquake of 749 AD. The intact and properly sealed cistern contained complete or fully restorable pottery. Two cooking pots from the early 5th century AD comprised sediments which was sampled for palynological purposes. Both samples, as well as a sample from the soil beneath one of the pots and a modern surface sample from the site, revealed well preserved palynomorphs in comparably high concentration showing a great potential of the cistern as a pollen archive. The pollen content points to an open, grassy semiarid landscape with an apparent scarcity of cultivars and trees in the vicinity of the site and an abundance of herbs, especially Asteraceae, which are still commonly found in modern regional vegetation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


01 Faculty of Theology > Institute of Jewish Studies
01 Faculty of Theology > Department of Protestant Theology [discontinued] > Institute of Jewish Studies [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Münger, Stefan


200 Religion > 290 Other religions
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
500 Science > 560 Fossils & prehistoric life
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)
900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)




Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group




Stefan Münger

Date Deposited:

18 Jun 2014 10:59

Last Modified:

17 Sep 2019 10:20

Publisher DOI:





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