The fifth season of excavations was carried out from 31 July to 31 August, 2009, directed by A. Tsukimoto (Rikkyo University, Japan) and co-directors, H. Kuwabara (Tenri University, Japan), Y. Paz (Beit Berl College, Israel) and N. Yamauchi (Tenri University Sankokan Museum, Japan). A total number of 70 people, including volunteers from Japan, Korea and Israel and workers from kfar Misr participated in this season.
Trial sounding at the south-eastern edge of the upper mound revealed Early Bronze Age II and III structures. These thin walls are the first Early Bronze Age structures ever excavated at Tel Rekhesh. It is assumed that the Early Bronze settlement was stretching, at least, on the eastern slope of the upper mound. In the area located at western edge of the upper mound, a massive perimeter wall detected in the last season was further examined. It is probably a defensive wall constructed during the Middle Bronze Age II. In the south-eastern edge of the upper mound where a large Iron Age I building was detected in last seasons, it became clear that this building was originally built in Late Bronze Age and continued in use during the Iron Age I, showing clear continuity from the Late Bronze Age to the Iron Age I. The same situation was seen in the other Iron Age I building located on the lower terrace. Here, one more phase related to Late Bronze Age/Iron Age I transition was detected blow the Iron Age I floor. Apart from the upper mound, a round oil press was detected next to the oil press excavated in the first season. These installations are dated to the Iron Age I. As for the later periods, we conducted some excavations on “acropolis” area to examine the date of the Iron Age building (possibly a fort) and Roman ruins. According to the pottery, the Iron Age building should be dated to the late Iron Age II and Roman ruins can be dated to the first century A. D.
The research project was supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas (Subject No. 17063013 “Development of City-States and the Tribes in the Palestine Region”, Representative: Akio Tsukimoto), Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) (Subject No. 10147928, “Demonstrative-Synthetic Research on the Formation of ‘Monotheism’ in Western Asia”, Representative: Akio Tsukimoto), Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) (Subject No. 20401036 “Formation and Development of Cities in the Eastern Mediterranean Region”, Representative: Hisao Kuwabara), Fund for Scientific Research from the Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan (“Research on Cities and Religions in Ancient Orient”, Representative: Hisao Kuwabara), and Rikkyo University Special Fund for Research (“Biblical-Archaeological Research on the Roman Remains in the Galilee Region, Israel,” Representative: Akio Tsukimoto).