We are now excited to welcome our 1st baby next month!Archeological excavations indicate that a pottery workshop operated there during the Roman era, and a glass workshop was there during the Byzantine era.At least 400 druzhina kurgans were erected there in that period. Excavations revealed an unusual amount of Scandinavian pottery and a surprising number of crosses, indicating that a large portion of the Norse population was Christianised.Among other finds were amber artifacts from the Baltic, a unique roaster, a spatha labelled by a certain Ulfbert from the Rhine, and a chess piece with an enigmatic Runic inscription (illustrated, to the right).Buildings from the Abbasid era have also been excavated. The village lies on the high road from Ar-Ramlah to Makka." In 1596, Aqir (Amir) appeared in Ottoman tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Ramla of the Liwa of Gaza.In the 10th century, Al-Muqaddasi writes of Aqir (Ekron) as "A large village with a mosque. It had a population of 31 Muslim households and paid taxes on wheat, barley, and other produce.Another hoard also numbering more than 2,000 dirhams (entire and in pieces), was the largest deposit of such coins ever found from Early Medieval Europe.The earliest coin was issued by Idris II (who reigned in the 810s and 820s). The site was abandoned towards the end of the ninth century, only to be revived half a century later.
I finished my contract and returned to the Philippines where we both met face to face for the first time and there were sparks!The scholar Edward Robinson passed by the village in 1838, and described it as being surrounded by "well-tilled gardens and fields of the richest soil".The village itself was described as being of "considerable size", built of bricks or adobe.A number of small houses remain, several of which are occupied by Jewish families.One is a cement house with a gabled roof and rectangular doors and windows, another is similar in its features, but its roof is flat.