Tel Afek

Tel Afek, (Hebrew: תל אפק‎), also spelled Aphek and Afeq, is an archaeological site located in the coastal hinterland of the Ein Afek Nature Reserve, east of Kiryat Bialik, Israel. It is also known as Tel Kurdani.[2]

Tel Afek
תל אפק
Ein Afek Aerial photo
Tel Afek is located in Israel
Tel Afek
Shown within Israel
Alternative nameApheq
Coordinates32°50′46″N 35°06′43″E / 32.846072°N 35.111969°E / 32.846072; 35.111969
Grid position160/250 PAL
PeriodsMiddle Bronze Age - Crusader period
Official nameEn Afeq Nature Reserve
Designated12 November 1996
Reference no.867[1]
General view of Ein Afek Crusader's dam and ponds
Ein Afek nature reserve
Clarias in Ein Afek
Afek Crusader mill and fortified tower


The site is what remains of the biblical town of Aphik, which is mentioned in the Joshua 19:30 and Judges 1:31 as belonging to the Tribe of Asher.[3][4] According to Biblical history, this area was part of Cabul and was given to Hiram I by Solomon as a reward for various services rendered to him in building the First Temple. 1 Kings 9:12.[5]


The site has remains dating back to the Chalcolithic age.

Bronze AgeEdit

There are tombs from the Middle Bronze Age and Late Bronze Ages have been excavated here.[6]

Classical PeriodEdit

Pottery from the Persian,[7] Hellenistic[6][7] Roman,[7] and the Byzantine eras have been found here.[7]

Crusader/Mamluk eraEdit

Pottery from the Crusader times have been found here.[7] In the Crusader era, it was known as Recordane, and in 1154, the mill and village was acquired the Hospitalliers.[8] The Hospitalliers owned the water mills here for a number of years.[9] Between 1235 and 1262 the Hospitalliers had a dispute with the Templars about water rights.[10]

Two aqueducts, dating from this era, have been excavated.[6]

In 1283 it was still part of the Crusader states, as it was mentioned as part of their domain in the hudna between the Crusaders based in Acre and the Mamluk sultan Qalawun.[11][12]

According to al-Maqrizi, it had come under Mamluk rule in 1291, when it was mentioned under the name of Kerdanah when sultan al-Ashraf Khalil allocated the village's income to a waqf in Cairo.[13][14]

A two-story fortress still stands. A water-powered flour mill operated on the lower floor.[15]

Tel Afek fortress 1926

Ottoman eraEdit

Incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517, it appeared under the name Kufrdani in the census of 1596, located in the Nahiya of Acca of the Liwa of Safad. The village was noted as "hali" (empty), but taxes were paid, a total of 1,800 akçe. All of the revenues went to a waqf.[16][17] The stair to the tower roof of the mill, and two more wheel-chambers in the southern part of the mill was added in the Ottoman period.[15]

In 1856 it was named Kurdany on the map of Southern Palestine that Heinrich Kiepert published that year.[18]

In 1881, the PEF's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) found at Kh. Khurdaneh (east of the mill) only heaps of stones.[19] The name, Kh. Kurdâneh was taken to mean the ruin of Kurdâneh, p.n. [20]

In 1900, Gottlieb Schumacher found here markings on the mill which he took to be Phoenician.[21]

British Mandate eraEdit

In 1925 a Zionist organisation purchased 1,500 dunums in Kordaneh, from Alfred Sursuk, of the Sursuk family of Beirut. At the time, there were 20 families living there.[22]

In the 1931 census of Palestine, Mathanat Kurdani was counted under Shefa-'Amr.[23]

Ain Afek 1921

Ein Afek nature reserveEdit

The Ein Afek nature reserve, declared in 1979, covers 366 dunams. An additional 300 dunams were declared in 1994.[24] The highlights of the park include the Crusader fortress and the natural water canals and lake, which draw their waters from the year-long flowing springs of Afek, which are the source of the Naaman river.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "En Afeq Nature Reserve". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ Avner Kessler and Uri Kafri (2007). "Application of a cell model for operational management of the Na'aman groundwater basin, Israel". Israel Journal of Earth Sciences. 56: 29–46. doi:10.1560/ijes.56.1.29.
  3. ^ Oxford Bible Atlas By Adrian Curtis, page 206
  4. ^ The Land of the Bible: A Historical Geography, By Yohanan Aharoni, page 430
  5. ^ a b "Ein Afek nature reserve" (PDF). Israel Parks and Nature Authority.
  6. ^ a b c Porat, 2010, Tel Afeq (East)
  7. ^ a b c d e Abu Raya and Porat, 2012, Tel Afeq (Northeast)
  8. ^ Röhricht, 1893, RRH No 293; cited in Pringle, 1997, p. 64
  9. ^ Röhricht, 1893, RRH No 293; RRH No 1062; RRH Ad No 1319a; RRH No 1322; all cited in Frankel, 1988, p. 261
  10. ^ Pringle, 1997, p. 64
  11. ^ The al-Qalqashandi version of the hudna, referred in Barag, 1979, p. 205, #28
  12. ^ Khamisy, 2013, p. 94, #37
  13. ^ al-Maqrizi, 1845, vol 2, p. 131
  14. ^ Barag, 1979, p. 203
  15. ^ a b Pringle, 1997, pp. 62-64
  16. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 192
  17. ^ Note that Rhode, 1979, p. 6 writes that the Safad register that Hütteroth and Abdulfattah studied was not from 1595/6, but from 1548/9.
  18. ^ Kiepert, 1856, Map of Southern Palestine
  19. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 314
  20. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 112
  21. ^ Schumacher, 1900, p. 360
  22. ^ List of villages sold by Sursocks and their partners to the Zionists since British occupation of Palestine, evidence to the Shaw Commission, 1930
  23. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 96 (PDF)
  24. ^ "List of National Parks and Nature Reserves" (PDF) (in Hebrew). Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Retrieved February 8, 2011.


External linksEdit