Courtesy Larry G. Herr and Douglas R. Clark

Traces of the Israelites. Small finds from ‘Umayri, such as jar handles with potters’ marks, point to a cultural connection between the site and settlements in the highlands west of the Jordan River, the heartland of the Israelite confederation. Items matching these have been uncovered near Shechem. But which element of the Israelites might have inhabited ‘Umayri in Iron Age I? Because the city was larger and wealthier than Israelite sites west of the Jordan, the excavators propose that ‘Umayri may have been an important city in the tribal lands of Reuben, the firstborn of Jacob.