Abu Ya’Qub Al-Sijistani and Kitab Sullam Al-Najat, A Study by Mohamed Abualy Alibhai

By Mohamed Abualy Alibhai

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To the left, a stone door still capable of turning on its hinges, remains. The door imitates a wooden door, studded with nails. was a discovery indeed! Obviously the extensive underground necropolis just discovered belonged to the town whose remains were hidden in the ruins of Sheikh Abreik. This meant that this location must have been the site of ancient Beth Shearim, since it was known from the literature that Beth Shearim had a large cemetery to which Jews from the Diaspora were brought for burial.

The caves, it seems, had served at differenttimes for both seasonal and year-round occupancy, the patterns adaptingto suit the needs of the farmingand grazing populations that utilized them. The furniture,built of mud and straw,can be seen to eitherside and in the background. BIBLICAL ARCHEOLOGIST 165 The discovery of the pomegranate adds symbolic if not more substantive support for the theory that Halif is the site of biblical Rimmon. "Rimmon Bowl" from Site 72, the Iron Age cemetery (1977). ).

BenjaminMazar (then Maisler), to excavate at Sheikh Abreik are not without interest. Despite some tentative beginningsin the 1920'sand early 1930's,Israeliarcheologicalactivity in the mid-1930'swas still in its infancy. At this time, the work at Beth Shearimcould not remotelycompare with the well-equipped,well-staffed, and generously funded foreign expeditions which for most of the preceding decade and a half had been digging at Jerusalem,Jericho,Ai, Lachish,Debir, Megiddo,Bethshean, and many other sites.

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