Courtesy Andrea M. Berlin

A luxurious villa graced Tel Anafa in the late second century B.C.E., after a century of abandonment. The villa was built in an architectural style common to prosperous eastern Mediterranean households of the time (see reconstruction drawing), and contrasts sharply with the modest dwellings that preceded it at the site in the third century B.C.E. Measuring about 180 feet square, it had a colonnaded courtyard at its center, surrounded by stucco-painted rooms tiled with decorative mosaics. The east side of the courtyard featured a three-room bath complex; a furnace in the southern chamber supplied steam to the building via a hypocaust system—a series of pillars that supported the floor while allowing hot air to circulate beneath the central room.