Vertical tabsMonastery name, type, categorySite Name: Deir Sam'an; Deir Sim'anMonastery name: MonasteryMonastery type: CenobiumMonastery category: Isolated in the countrysideFormer fortress LocationCoordinates, ITM system: 20,500.0066,390.00 Coordinates, ICS system: 15,500.0016,390.00 Geographical region: Southern and Western SamariaProvincial affiliation: Palaestina IBishopric: DiospolisTopographical location: HilltopDistance from nearest bishop-seat: ca. 25 km (Lod-Diospolis)Distance from Roman roads: 0.4 km from the road connecting Shechem-Neapolis with the coast. Source of knowledgeEpigraphyArchaeological remainsSurveyed siteSurveyors: NameDate Guérin1868-1869 Conder and Kitchener1971-1877 Gofna and Porath1967-1968 Finkelstein, Lederman and Bunimovitz1981-1985 Excavated siteExcavators: NameDate Magen1992-1994 Bibliograpy: Guérin, V., 1875124-26 Conder, C. R. and Kitchener, H. H., 1882319-20 Avi-Yonah, M., 1933136-81 Ovadiah, A., 197049 Epstein, C. and Gutman, S., 1972231 Ovadiah, A. and de Silva, C. G., 1982130 Dar, S., 198626-35 Tsafrir, Y., Di Segni, L. and Green, J., 1994112 Finkelstein, I., Bunimvitz, S. and Lederman, Z., 1997I: 261-62 Bagatti, B., 2002153 Hirschfeld, Y., 2002155-89 Magen, Y., 2008177-216 Magen, Y., 20129-106 Magen, Y. and Kagan, E. D., 2012142-44 Dayan, A., 201559 Abbreviation for Journals and SeriesState of certainty: Archaeologicaly definitive General descriptionState of preservation/which parts were uncovered: The site was extensively excavated revealing the major part of the complex. In some places the walls were preserved almost to their full height. In the northern wing an entrance was preserved to its full height (1.90 m), including finely worked doorposts topped by a monolithic lintel, carved with a tabula ansata. Above the lintel there is a relief arch, indicating that the wall rose high above the entrance. Illustrative material: Illustrative_material Figures General descriptionPaths: Access to the site was via two roads: one road ascended from the west, from the main Diospolis-Neapolis road, several hundred meters away. The second path came from the northeast, reaching the main entrance to the complex, Enclosing walls: The main structure is rectangular, its enclosing walls measuring 39 x 36.5 m, encompassing an area of 1,424 m2. Gate/s: The main entrance to the complex is located on its eastern side with a second gate in the north. Courtyards: The courtyard (20.4 x 10.40 m) was paved with a carelessly executed polychrome mosaic, partially inlaid with red and black stones. It is a rectangular carpet, 6.5 x 3 m divided into two squares, in each of which two circles form a frame adorned with lozenges. Remains of black and red crosses are visible in the center of the eastern circle. Tower/s: Outside the northeastern corner of the building, a large room (6 x 4.70 m) was constructed. To the north of this hall there is a square tower (4 x 4 m) with a bedrock floor. Churche/s: The second story church (15.2 x 8 m external dimensions; 14 x 6.4 m internal dimensions) consisted of two parts: a hall with two rows of columns, and a narthex. The staircase apparently led to the narthex. Arches were installed in the corridor leading from the gate in order to bear the weight of the second story. These were removed in the third phase. The church was paved in a polychrome mosaic featuring geometric designs. A chapel (12.5 x 5.5 m) was established in the northern wing. The chapel had a gabled roof of wooden panels covered with tiles. A large room (5.7 x 5.5 m) was discovered in the east of this wing. It was paved in a white mosaic with a large cross in its center and palm trees between its arms. An additional cross is located opposite the entrance. It has been suggested that the two crosses and its elevated floor indicate that this was the chapel's chancel. Burials: The crypt: in the northeastern corner of the main building, there is a large room (5.8 x 5.4 m) with an arch bearing pillar. In the center of the room there is a burial cave consisting of two Byzantine arcosolia. The entrance to the cave was covered with stone slabs. The burial room itself was hewn (3.4 x 3.1 m and 2 m deep). Three burial chambers contained trough tombs. Crosses were engraved in the tomb walls. A similar tomb was found north of the structure, between the settling pool and the cisterns. Stable: A large hall (10.5 x 5.8 m) south of the entrance, had apparently been used in the fortress phase of the site as a stable. This was divided into smaller rooms in the monastic phase and a second story was built over it, supported by arches. Water installations: Two large bell-shaped cisterns were constructed in the first phase (one in the northwestern corner of the central structure, the other in the southern wing). They are dated to the late Roman period, based on the type of plaster. In the northwest corner of the southern wing there is a cistern that received the runoff water from the roof. North and west of the main building, a large system was uncovered consisting of built cisterns and open pools fed by channels from the central building. A large, square, hewn and plastered pool (6.5 x 5.5 x 3.6 m; 128 m3) over which four finely built arches were installed to bear the stone slabs that covered the cistern, belongs to phase I. A second round pool (12.7 diameter x 1.10 deep 139.4 m3). A southern trapezoidal pool (12 x 950-7 x 4.3 m; 423 m3) and a square western pool (10.7 x 7.4 x 4.3 m; 340 m3). Another pool was located west of the central structure but was not in use in the Byzantine period. (The total water capacity of the external pools was ca. 1,030 m3). Agricultural and industrial installations: Two wine presses were found northwest of the complex. The eastern winepress had three collecting vats. The second winepress, nearby, was converted into an olive press in the Early Islamic period. Small findsSmall finds: CategoryDescription PotteryPlates, Gaza jar, Caesarea jar Oil lampsA candlestick lamp CoinsHellenistic and Umayyad Metal objectsIron and bronze fragments - Mamluk and Ottoman GlassUmayyad and Abbasid fragments Detailed descriptionDimensions: Total area (sqm)Size class 1,423Medium StructureMaterials applied (walls): LimestoneMaterials applied (roofing): tilestimberstone ComponentsEnclosing wallGate/s: 2Tower/sCourtyard/sMonastery church: Church typeDiakonikonLink to church sectionChurch location basilicalUpper floor Number of stories: 2Tombs type: Cist tombBurial chamberArcosoliumRetaining wallsAgricultural installations: oil press\es [=o/p]wine press\es [=w/p]Water installations: CisternsChannelsWater capacity (minimal) (cubic m): 1.448Inscribed crosses Architectural evolutionPhase 1 Abandonment Phase name (as published): Phase II: Byzantine period.General outline: The monastery was established in a fourth century Roman fortress. Structural changes were made, a second story church and a chapel in northern wing were added.Dating material: Dated to the Byzantine period, a more precise dating was not provided Phase dateCentury: 5th-6th c. Phase name (as published): Phase III; Early Islamic period.General outline: In the Early Islamic period the monastery no longer functioned and the structure was converted into an industrial oil production center.Phase dateCentury: 7th-8th c. Post Arab conquest history: Ceased to functionPost conquest history comments: In the Early Islamic period, the site was converted into an industrial olive press. The second story church was destroyed and structural changes were made.