Tel Afek

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Tel Afek
תל אפק
Tel Afek is located in Israel
Tel Afek
Shown within Israel
Alternate name Apheq
Location Israel
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Periods Middle Bronze Age - Crusader period
Site notes
Public access Nature Reserve
General view of Ein Afek Crusader's dam and ponds
Ein Afek nature reserve
Afek Crusader mill and fortified tower
Ein Afek Aerial photo

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.[1]


The site is what remains of the biblical town of Aphik, which is mentioned in the Joshua 19:30 as belonging to the Tribe of Asher. The name is apparently derived from the nearby abundant springs (אפיקים afikim in Hebrew).[citation needed]

In the Hellenistic period the city expanded northwards, and grew into a large area that reached the springs, and the city continued to be in use in the Roman period.[citation needed]

In Crusader times, the northern area was fortified to protect the route to Nazareth.[citation needed] In this era, it was known as Recordane, and in 1154, the mill and village was acquired the Hospitalliers.[2] Between 1235 and 1262 the Hospitalliers had a dispute with the Templars about water rights.[3] 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.[4][5]

A two-story fortress still stands. A water-powered flour mill operated on the lower floor.[6]

Ottoman era

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.[7][8] 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.[6]

In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) found at Kh. Khurdaneh (east of the mill) only heaps of stones.[9] In 1900, Gottlieb Schumacher found here markings on the mill which he took to be Phoenician.[10]

British Mandate era

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.[11]

In the 1931 census of Palestine, Mathanat Kurdani was counted under Shefa-'Amr.[12]

Ein Afek nature reserve

The Ein Afek nature reserve, declared in 1979, covers 366 dunams. An additional 300 dunams were declared in 1994.[13] 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.[14]

See also


  1. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Röhricht, 1893, RRH, pp. 74-75, No 293; cited in Pringles, 1997, p. 64
  3. Pringles, 1997, p. 64
  4. The al-Qalqashandi version of the hudna, referred in Barag, 1979, p. 205, #28
  5. Khamisy, 2013, p. 94, #37
  6. 6.0 6.1 Pringles, 1997, pp. 62-64
  7. Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 192
  8. 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.
  9. Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 314
  10. Schumacher, 1900, p. 360
  11. List of villages sold by Sursocks and their partners to the Zionists since British occupation of Palestine, evidence to the Shaw Commission, 1930
  12. Mills, 1932, p. 96 (PDF)
  13. "List of National Parks and Nature Reserves" (PDF) (in Hebrew). Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Retrieved February 8, 2011.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Ein Afek nature reserve". Israel Parks and Nature Authority.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


External links