Khirbet Se’arta; Ḥorvat Seorah - ZENO

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Source of knowledge
Literary sources
Archaeological remains
Surveyed site
The site mentioned as the possible site of the monastery of Zeno, near H. Se'ora (Kh. She'arta) has not been excavated. There is no certainty that a monastery actually existed at the site although there is some evidence for the existence of a church. Hirschfeld wrote: " may be assumed that the structure on the western hill...was a monastery" (Hirschfeld 2004: 73). The literary sources, however, do not mention a monastery, only that Zeno secluded himself in a cell: " the little village Kefar She'arta, about fifteen miles from Gaza" (v. Pet. Ib. 50 [tr. Horn 2003:115-116]). It might be assumed, therefore, that the cell in which Zeno lived in seclusion was located at this site and a church constructed there to commemorate the place and his memory.
State of certainty: 
Uncertain / Questionable
Architectural evolution
General outline: 
Zeno first secluded himself in a cell a year before the Council of Chalcedon, i.e. 450 CE (also the year of his death). Nothing is known of any remains.
Dating material: 

Based on literary sources (see identification sectionn).

Phase date
5th c.
Within century: 
General outline: 
The monastery named for Zeno probably grew around his cell. Remains dating to the Byzantine period were seen scattered over the site and a cistern coated with reddish plaster identified as Byzantine.
Dating material: 

All the finds in the surveys were identified as Byzantine.

Phase date
5th-6th c.
Phase date