Beth Shemesh - Monastery (?)

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Source of knowledge
Archaeological remains
Surveyed site
Excavated site
Very little information was provided by Mackenzi who excavated the site. The only finds reported by him are presented here, no finds pointing to the existence of a church, or liturgical furniture etc., were presented as evidence to a monastic function of the structure. The only element identifying this complex as having a Christian context is the cross inscribed lintel, found in secondary use elsewhere. This lack of evidence is not surprising since, as Mackenezi proposed, it had been turned into a khan in the Early Islamic period and would most likely have been cleaned out. However, in the majority of ancient Byzantine sites that had been abandoned and reused for different functions, some evidence of its previous use has been found. This is particularly so at sites which were not settled in the modern age where remains disappeared under modern construction. Mackenzi reported no such finds in the structure itself or its vicinity that would indicate a monastic function. This casts no little doubt on Mackenzi’s identification of the structure as a monastery.
State of certainty: 
Uncertain / Questionable
Architectural evolution
General outline: 
No dating was provided by the excavator beyond a general reference to the Byzantine period. If this was indeed a monastery, it was most probably active in the sixth century, providing services for pilgrims.
Phase date
6th c.
General outline: 
In the event that the structure was a monastery and a hospice for pilgrims, it most likely stopped functioning after the Arab conquest in the first half of the seventh century CE. The fine state of the architectural remains points to non violent abandonment.
Phase date
7th c?
Within century: 
First half
Iconoclastic evidence
Iconoclastic evidence: 
Post Arab conquest history: 
Ceased to function
Post conquest history comments: 
Apparently the structure became a khan in the Islamic period, based on the troughs found in the southern gallery.