Rhonda Root/Madaba Plains Project

Excavators have uncovered an early example of a four-room house, a type of domestic dwelling often associated with the Israelites and found only infrequently east of the Jordan River. The cutaway drawing allows us to look into ‘Umayri’s Building B, the best-preserved Iron Age I four-room house from anywhere in the Levant. The two-story structure was divided into three long rooms by two rows of pillars, and a broad room spanned the back of the house (see photo and plan, opposite). The first floor was given over to animals and to food storage. The inhabitants, probably three generations of an extended family, ate, entertained and slept on the second floor (and possibly on the roof).