© Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion

Collared-rim storage jars, a distinctive feature of Iron Age Israelite material culture, were discovered in Danite “settlement pits” at Tel Dan. Traditionally, the jars are so named because of the rolled ridge around the shoulder of the vessel.

The pits, dug by the seminomadic Danites as storage receptacles, may solve one of Dan”s most perplexing mysteries: Why are there so few remains of the Late Bronze city called Laish, said to have been conquered by the Israelite tribe of Dan?

Biran suggests that the pits, dug into the earlier strata of occupation, have partially destroyed the Late Bronze Age occupation levels. The excavators uncovered more than 20 pits in one area alone—some as deep as six feet.