Vertical tabsMonastery name, type, categorySite Name: Ḥorvat Berachot; Khirbet BureikutMonastery name: MonasteryMonastery type: CenobiumMonastery category: VillagePilgrims LocationCoordinates, ITM system: 21,366.0061,677.00 Coordinates, ICS system: 16,366.0011,677.00 Geographical region: Judean HillsProvincial affiliation: Palaestina IBishopric: JerusalemTopographical location: The site is located on the southern slope of a hill.Distance from nearest bishop-seat: ca. 16 km (Jerusalem)Distance from Roman roads: ca. 0.5 km form the road that connected Hebron with Jerusalem. Source of knowledgeArchaeological remainsSurveyed siteSurveyors: NameDate Robinson and Smith 1857 Guérin 1868-1869 Conder and Kitchener1871-1877 Schick and Benzinger 1896 Excavated siteExcavators: NameDate Tsafrir and Hirschfeld 1976 Bibliograpy: Robinson, E. and Smith. E., 1857275 Guérin, V., 1869III: 301 Conder, C. R. and Kitchener, H. H., 1883311 Schick, C. and Benzinger, I., 1896174 Tsafrir, Y. and Hirschfeld, Y., 1976206-7 Tsafrir, Y. and Hirschfeld, Y., 1977426-28 Tsafrir, Y., Hirschfeld, Y., Drori, R. and Drori, J., 1979291-326 Ben-Shalom, S., 198326-35 Bagatti, B., 1983 Tsafrir, Y., Di Segni, L. and Green, J., 199478 Bagatti, B., 200267-8 Magen, Y. and Kagan, E. D., 2012141-45 Abbreviation for Journals and SeriesState of certainty: Archaeologicaly definitive General descriptionState of preservation/which parts were uncovered: Most of the stones were plundered over time but in some places, walls remain to a height of 2 m. A basilical church was excavated, including an atrium surrounded by a peristyle and some auxiliary structures. Illustrative material: Illustrative_material Figures General descriptionCourtyards: To the west of the church there is an atrium (13.8 x 13.4 m). A cistern was found in the center of the atrium and a complex of rooms surrounds it. No remains of paving were found in the atrium, the excavators surmise that it was paved with stone slabs. The atrium was surrounded by porticoes paved in a coarse white mosaic on its northern, western and southern sides. Churche/s: The church, a basilica (15.5 x 12.5 m), was excavated in 1976. Its construction was dated to the sixth century. To its west there is a narthex (14 x 3 m) from which three openings access the prayer hall which is divided into a nave and two aisles. An apse at the eastern end is 2.6 m deep and 5 m diameter, these are estimates made by the excavators as no remains of the actual apse were found. Two chapels flank the eastern side of the church. The excavators suggested that these were independent chapels that were not necessarily connected with the daily services in the church. The two staircases flanking the crypt lead directly to these chapels. The church walls were plastered inside with white plaster. Dwellings: The complex of rooms west of the church covered a larger area than that of the church itself. On the southern and western sides there were large halls, their outer walls having been dismantled but a robber trench revealed the western rooms to be 4.3 m wide. A strip of mosaic pavement in the southern rooms revealed that they were 5.3 m wide. Their function has not been ascertained. Burials: A tomb, predating the church is contained in the crypt (see below). The remains of 11 individuals were found in it. According to the excavators, the cave became a chapel at the end of the fourth century. Cave/s: Beneath the eastern end of the nave there is a rectangular crypt (4.5 x 3.3 m). The space had originally been a natural cave. The crypt was accessed via two staircases, one on its northern and a second on its southern side. The crypt has a window with a cross inscribed in its lintel. A Muslim inscription in Kufic script is engraved on the crypt’s southern wall. The crypt is paved in a well-preserved mosaic pavement featuring floral motifs and crosses. Water installations: A cistern was found beneath the courtyard. Small findsSmall finds: CategoryDescription PotteryPottery dating to the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods. Ribbed jars, found in the crypt. Metal objectsAn elongated iron ring found in the crypt. Oil lampsAn oil lamp found in the crypt. Comments, discussion and summary: The double staircase leading into the crypt on two sides is similar to the one found at the north church of Rehovot in the Negev (Tsafrir, Patrich and Heginbottom 1988). This may indicate that, like in Rehovot in the Negev, the builders of the complex provided for a large flow of visiting pilgrims with possibly "one way" stairs for going in and going out of the crypt. Detailed descriptionStructureMaterials applied (walls): LimestoneMaterials applied (roofing): tiles ComponentsCourtyard/sMonastery church: Church typeDiakonikonLink to church sectionChurch location basilicalGround floor single naveGround floor single naveGround floor Number of stories: 1Tombs type: Burial chamberWater installations: CisternsInscribed crosses Architectural evolutionPhase 1 Abandonment Phase name (as published): Phase IIGeneral outline: The church and monastery were erected over a cave that held an earlier tomb. The tomb was a venerated site and the excavators believe that a chapel had existed there in the fourth century.Dating material: Based on archaeological considerations and comparative analysis of the architecture and the mosaics. Phase dateCentury: 6th c.Within century: Mid Phase name (as published): Phase IIIGeneral outline: The church and monastery were abandoned, apparently in the late seventh century.Dating material: Based on the architectural modifications and the finds. Phase dateCentury: 7th c.Within century: Late Post Arab conquest history: Still in usePost conquest history comments: The site was reoccupied in a domestic context in the first half of the eighth century CE.