Photo by Amihai Mazar/Tel Beth Shean Expedition, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Fourteen human columns mark the spots where wooden pillars stood on stone bases in the hall of this mudbrick structure at Beth Shean (see also reconstruction). Dating to the Early Bronze Age Ib (c. 3100 B.C.E.), it is part of the site’s fascinating 6,000-year history. The benches along the walls, as well as other finds, suggest that the building was used for food storage and processing, weaving and flint flaking. A violent fire destroyed the early phase of the mudbrick structure, but it was rebuilt before being abandoned later.