Vertical tabsMonastery name, type, categorySite Name: Khirbet Bira; Khirbet BirehMonastery name: Monastery (?)Monastery type: CenobiumMonastery category: Former fortress LocationCoordinates, ITM system: 19,690.0065,820.00 Coordinates, ICS system: 14,690.0015,820.00 Geographical region: Southern and Western SamariaProvincial affiliation: Palaestina IBishopric: DiospolisTopographical location: A region of low foothills.Distance from nearest bishop-seat: ca. 10 km (Diospolis)Distance from nearest settlement: ca. 10 km (Diospolis)Distance from Roman roads: ca. 2 km south of the road connecting Lod-Diospolis with the Samarian hills. Source of knowledgeArchaeological remainsSurveyed siteSurveyors: NameDate Conder and Kitchener1871-1877 Dar1984 Gofna and Beit-Arieh1997 Excavated siteExcavators: NameDate Safrai and Dar1980-1983 Bibliograpy: Safrai, Z. and Dar, S., 198211-13 Dar, S., 198411-13 Ovadiah, A. and de Silva, C. G., 1984141 Gophna, R. and Beit-Arieh, I., 1997 Safrai, Z. and Dar, S., 199757-107 Magen, Y., 2008177-216 Magen, Y. and Kagan, E. D., 2012182-83 Dayan, A., 201586 Abbreviation for Journals and SeriesDiscussion: When the site was first excavated, it was identified by Dar and Safrai as a monastery. This identification was later revised and the structure was named an estate. This confusion is typical where this type of structure is concerned due to the resemblance between the two types of structure and the lack of any definitive evidence at the site. Magen added that the structure shows signs of having been originally a Late Roman tower (Magen 2008: 201), although Safrai and Dar had identified the original structure as a Roman villa. In addition, Magen disputes the identification of the site as either a monastery or an estate and suggests that it served as a waystation (Magen and Kagan 2012 I: 182-183, no. 61). The installation of an oil press at some later date does not necessarily indicate abandonment by its original occupants.State of certainty: Uncertain / Questionable General descriptionState of preservation/which parts were uncovered: The site was excavated revealing a complex consisting of a basilica church, adjacent rooms, a courtyard and an olive press. A room paved in a polychrome mosaic was also found. General descriptionCourtyards: A courtyard was located west of the church and remains of rooms were found on the western and southern sides of it. Churche/s: The church is a basilica (17.5 x 11 m) that had been constructed inside an earlier structure. The threshold and doorposts were found in situ. The church had been paved in colorful mosaics of which only the edges survived. The apse was flanked by niches and paved in mosaics as well. Two rooms were uncovered west of the church, one of which was paved in a colorful mosaic. Agricultural and industrial installations: An oil press and a winepress were surveyed. Small finds Detailed descriptionStructureMaterials applied (walls): Limestone ComponentsCourtyard/sMonastery church: Church typeDiakonikonLink to church sectionChurch location basilicalGround floor Number of stories: 1Agricultural installations: oil press\es [=o/p]wine press\es [=w/p]Water installations: Cisterns Architectural evolutionPhase 1 Abandonment General outline: Originally constructed in the Late Roman period, either as a villa or a tower. The builders of the church made use of the earlier structures.Phase dateCentury: 5th-6th c. Phase dateCentury: 7th-8th c. Post Arab conquest history: ModifiedPost conquest history comments: An oil press was established in the church in the Early Islamic period.