Joseph Callaway

Early Israelite housing. The 12th- or 11th-century B.C.E. village of Raddana, about ten miles north of Jerusalem, contains well-preserved examples of pillared courtyard houses. Behind the workman in this photo is the largest room of the main house (lower right in the drawing); four pillars at far right separate it from a long narrow room farther to the right. The pillars probably supported a second story where the inhabitants lived and slept; the ground floor may have served as stables for animals. The courtyard house is a pervasive feature of Canaanite hill-country sites and is almost certainly the type of structure referred to in the Bible by the phrase “the house of the father” (Hebrew: bet av).