Tel Jatt

Location and Identification

Tel Jatt is located at the junction between the Sharon plain and the Samaria hills. The tell was established on a chalk hilltop, surrounded by steep slopes, with hundreds of installations such as cisterns, burial caves, and wine presses cut into the soft bedrock.


Tel Jatt was originally settled in the Early Bronze Age I (EB I) and continued into EB II-III. There is evidence of reoccupation in the Middle Bronze Age II, developing into a major town of the region.

Biblical Context

The site is not mentioned in the Bible. However, it was first recorded in historical records by Thutmose III and was likely identified with the city-state Gath-Padala mentioned in the El-Amarna texts.


The results of various salvage excavations conducted on the mound and in its vicinity from 1982 to 1990 were presented, including additional recently uncovered tombs of the Late Bronze and Roman periods.


Key findings include:

  • Early Bronze Age III burial cave.
  • Middle Bronze Age II fortification and burial caves.
  • Late Bronze Age settlement remains and burial caves.
  • Iron Age settlement strata, indicating a transition from a major city to an ordinary village.
  • Persian to Byzantine period remains, suggesting the village flourished during these times.
  • Burial caves from the Roman period with Greek inscriptions and other significant finds, suggesting ownership by a wealthy Jewish family related to the Herodian dynasty.
  • Evidence of Samaritan inhabitation during the Late Roman and Byzantine periods.


Archaeological Remains at Jatt
YosephPorath, Eli Yannai and Aryeh Kasher