Benyamin Storchan

IAA_logo_580Benyamin Storchan

Research Excavation Archaeologist, Israel Antiquities Authority

Paper title: A New Light on the “Beit Nattif” Lamp.

Short CV:

B.A. with honors from Michigan State University
Major: Anthropology with specialization in Archeology
Minor: Jewish Studies

2008-2012 Inspector for the Judean Hills Region for Israel Antiquities Authority
2013-2014 Assistant Excavation Archaeologist, Israel Antiquities Authority
2014-present Research Excavation Archaeologist, Israel Antiquities Authority

List of Publications

A. Golani, B. Storchan, and Y. Vardi. Excavations at the pre and proto-historic site of Eshta’ol, IAA Reports (in progress)

Conference Papers

A. Golani and B.D. Storchan, “Eshta’ol – A Proto-Historic Site in Transition: Preliminary Inter/Intra-Site Observations”in: G. D. Stiebel, O. Peleg-Barkat, D. Ben-Ami and Yuval Gadot (eds.), New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and its Region, Vol. VIII, Jerusalem 2014, pp. *18–*31

B.D. Storchan, “An Intermediate Bronze Age Farmhouse at Newe Shalom” in: D. Amit, G. D. Stiebel, O. Peleg-Barkat, and D. Ben-Ami (eds.), New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and its Region, Vol. VI, Jerusalem 2012, pp. *7–*15

Articles in progress
A 2nd temple period monumental tomb complex and Iron age winepress in the Emek Lavan Valley, ‘Atiqot

A Crusader- and Mamluk-Period Farmstead in the Southwestern Hinterland of Jerusalem: Excavations at Kh’ Beit Mazmil, ‘Atiqot

Excavations near the Eyn Helu spring, ‘Atiqot

Two Intermediate Bronze Age (EB IV) Sites in the Northeastern Judean Shfela, ‘Atiqot

Articles in Journal: Hadashot Arkheologiyot: Excavations and Surveys in Israel
2009 – HA-ESI 121
Eshta’ol, Amir Golani and Dan Storchan

2010 – HA-ESI 122
Beqo’a, Amir Golani and Dan Storchan
Survey near Nes Harim
Survey of Sha‘ar Ha-Gāy–Hartuv Junctions

2011- HA-ESI 123
Ramat Bet Shemesh (A and B) (A-5831 and A-6077) Kefar Uriyya

2012 – HA-ESI 124
Jerusalem: ‘Ir Ganim
Ramat Bet Shemesh (A-E) (A-5990, A-5920, A-6041, A-6144, and A-6228)
Eshta’ol Tarum Survey from Hartuv to Ela Junctions

2013 – HA-ESI 125
Jerusalem: Biblical Zoo (A-6585) and East Talpiyot (A-6429) Nahal Yarmut  Newē Shalom Khirbat Rafeidiya (A and B) A-6660 and A-6712

2014 – HA-ESI 126
Jerusalem: Bayit Va-Gan (preliminary report) Dan Storchan and Benjamin J. Dolinka


The “Beit Nattif” lamp was first identified by D. C. Baramki of the Palestine Department of Antiquities in 1934, when a large amount of terracotta figurines, lamps, and stone moulds were uncovered during the excavation of a water cistern within the village of Beit Nattif (ancient Betholetepha). The moulds and unused lamps found in the fill was thus interpreted as waste, discarded from a nearby lamp workshop. In the course of time, the exact location of the excavation was lost however, “Beit Nattif” lamps and figurines began to frequently appear in excavations throughout the Judean Shephela and Jerusalem region and were dated to the 3rd-4th centuries CE.
In 2014, rescue excavations at the site of Kh’ Shumeila, located 1 km to the north of Beit Nattif and south of modern Bet Shemesh, revealed the remains of a large villa with a partially colored mosaic floor. Within the structure, a large amount of lamp fragments and multiple stone lamp moulds were uncovered. The moulds, found resting upon the floor of the villa can enable, for the first time, the direct identification of at least one of the “Beit Nattif” lamp workshops.
Taken together, the “Beit Nattif” lamp stone mould assemblage presents a great opportunity for a greater understanding of lamp production techniques during the 3rd-4th centuries CE in Israel. This paper will discuss preliminary identifications of the technological features regarding production of the lamps as seen through the previous and newly discovered stone lamp moulds.