chapter  4
15 Pages

The Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages at Tall al-‘Umayri

ByDouglas R. Clark

This chapter examines the archaeological data as a source for the religious history of the Umm el-Jimal community in the late pagan, Christian, and Islamic historical phases. Many monumental tombs at Umm el-Jimal were exposed since antiquity, but their architecture survived fairly intact until modern resettlement and the deliberate plundering of their masonry in the early 1980s. A comparison of tomb locations on the Hisban and Umm el-Jimal site maps reveals their essential geographic similarities. Though neither community has formally established urban boundaries, it is clear that in both places burials were done outside these informal town limits, in both cases they were scattered in clusters located in all directions from the town. Both Hisban and Umm el-Jimal have an extensive repertoire of chamber tombs, of both loculus and arcasolia type. A major difference between burial cultures at Hisban and Umm el-Jimal is that the latter has a record of hundreds of funerary stelae with epitaphs, while Hesban has none.