Surveyed for the Delta Survey in 2018 by a team led by Dr P. Wilson, who reported:

Located on what appears to be a river levée, Kom El-Garad seems to have been a transitional settlement within the bend of a river branch. The tell was about twice the size in the Corona images (1968) than it is now (2018), with an area reduced to 0.02km2. Also clear on modern imagery are ancient building plans across the north-western part of the site.

Panorama of the site from the north side

Visual Description

The site comprises a low mound around 5m high extending from the south-west to the north-east, with surrounding low-lying areas of compact mud, cut away in places to leave sections of up to 2m, especially on the northern side. The ground level of the whole site lies at least 1-2m above the agricultural land. The mound is composed of soft, loose and dusty soil mixed with fired bricks and pottery. A red-brick tank lined with plaster has been exposed on the north-west side of the side. In the flat areas there is very little archaeological material visible, but the mud here is very compact and dark in colour. At the north some pottery amphorae and large pottery fragments were noted in the section and in one place a Roman period pottery coffin-jar was identified.

A magnetic survey of the site was inconclusive in further refining the structures observable in the satellite images, mainly due to the red brick cover on the surface and in the sub-surface material. The images did allow the orientation of the main structures to be determined as well as the edge of the main archaeological area. Clear pale brown lines were visible on the surface delimiting walls of structures with the internal material comprised of pottery, much glass, some coins and other metal fragments as well as fired brick, some of which showed signs of intense heat (vitrification). The buildings may have been arranged along a levée from south-west to north-east. Two drill-cores were made at the site: the first on a low part of the mound produced evidence for settlement stratigraphy to a depth of 4m, probably around 2m below the level of the fields, before reaching alluvial sediments. The depth of the bore-hole was 6m. The second drill core was made to the south-east of the site and was shallower at 2.5m, but mainly showed evidence for alluvial siltation and some standing water.

Pottery at the site was rather poor in its preservation, having been heavily salted and eroded. Some Late Roman D ware fragments were noted, along with ARS finewares, LR1 amphorae, AE3 type amphorae and other coarsewares, including the pottery coffin fragments. One fragment of a marl footed-bowl had turquoise and white faience glaze inside, which would suggest an Islamic phase at the site, perhaps into the 9th-10th century AD. Glass fragments were common, although some modern glass had been left on the site as well. The majority of the ancient material seemed to be Roman to Late Roman period in date and some of it was from common types of vessels including blue-spotted lamps and tear-drop vessels. Most of the coins were very corroded and ranged from medium to small-sized coins, suggesting a Roman to Islamic date. It was not possible to be more precise than this.

 

Tell Garad from the south side                                                   Dried mud showing traces of a structure

 

Section at north side of Tell Garad                                         Amphora fragments, including LR7 amphora neck

Finewares including Late Roman D-ware (right) and glazed pottery (top left)