Colt Archaeological Expedition

Project summary

Between 1933 and 1937, excavations were conducted at Sbeita and Auja el Hafir (Palestine) under the direction of Harris Dunscombe Colt. Three churches were investigated and Byzantine and Roman pottery was recovered.

Project details

Location: Sbeita (Sbaita, S’beita, Isbeita, Esbeita) and Auja el Hafir (Nessana) (Palestine)

Year(s): 1933-1937

Project director(s): Harris Dunscombe Colt

Project team:

Funding: Harris Dunscombe Colt

Project description

Excavations conducted under auspices of BSAJ, funded by Colt, participants were accepted as students by BSAJ to work with Colt.

The Byzantine town site is constructed of local limestone, with little planning evident: some straight streets, others wandering round houses. There is no outer town wall encompassing whole site, house and garden walls interspersed with arched gateways. Size of site roughly 460 by 350 metres.

Project bibliography

Excavations at Isbeita, 1934. BSAJ Annual Report 14, pp. 6-8.

Baly, C., 1935. S’baita. Palestine Exploration Quarterly (PEQ) 67, pp. 171-181.

S’baita, 1935. BSAJ Annual Report 15, p. 7.

Crowfoot, G.M. 1936. The Nabataean Ware of Sbaita. Palestine Exploration Quarterly (PEQ) 68, pp. 14-27.

Dunscombe Colt, 1936. Discoveries at Auja Hafia. The first Archaeological Talk broadcast in Palestine at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 6, 1936. Palestine Exploration Quarterly (PEQ) 68, pp. 216-220. 1936.

Palestine Exploration Fund Seventy-First Annual General Meeting. Brief account by Colin Baly of papyri found at Auja by the Colt Expedition of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem. Palestine Exploration Quarterly (PEQ) 68, pp. 135-136.

Kirk, G.E. 1939. Early Christian Gravestone-Formulae of Southern Palestine. Palestine Exploration Quarterly (PEQ) 71, pp. 181-186.

Colt, H. Dunscombe (Ed.). 1962. Excavations at Nessana Vol. 1: Auja Hafir, Palestine. (Colt Archaeological Institute Monograph). London: British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem.

Project media gallery

Restoration of Nabatean painted bowl from Sbaita, PEQ 68:1, 14-27, Plate 1