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A short history of Mulabbis (Petah Tikva, Israel)


The following article summarizes our current knowledge of the history of Tell Mulabbis (in modern Petah Tikva). As a key archaeological site in the Yarkon River basin, it was inhabited during the Roman, Byzantine, Early Islamic, Crusader, Mamluk and Late Ottoman periods. Based on the published results of recent excavations, older scholarship, and hereto-unnoticed written evidence, the article examines and interprets Mulabbis's material culture within the broader contexts of the region's historical geography. Although possessing important advantages like access to water and arable land, the site was inhabited only intermittently due to malaria and changing economic and political circumstances. Within the framework of Ottoman Archaeology, the article suggests the need to pay closer attention to ‘recent’ archaeological layers. For example, the few Ottoman material remains published so far, testify to continued cultural exchange and economic ties between Mulabbis, the mountainous interior, and the southern parts of Palestine.

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