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Tall al-Turmus

Tall al-Turmus
Arabic تل الترمس
Name meaning "The mound of the lupine"[1]
Also spelled Tell at-Turmus
Subdistrict Gaza

31°43′29.83″N 34°46′21.71″E / 31.7249528°N 34.7726972°E / 31.7249528; 34.7726972Coordinates: 31°43′29.83″N 34°46′21.71″E / 31.7249528°N 34.7726972°E / 31.7249528; 34.7726972{{#coordinates:31|43|29.83|N|34|46|21.71|E|type:city_region:IL |primary |name=

Palestine grid 128/125
Population 760[2] (1945)
Area 11,508[2] dunams
11.5 km²
Date of depopulation July, 1948[3]
Cause(s) of depopulation Fear of being caught up in the fighting
Current localities Arugot,[4] Timorim

Tall al-Turmus (Arabic: تل الترمس‎) was a Palestinian Arab village in the Gaza Subdistrict, located on a low hill on the coastal plain of Palestine, Script error: No such module "convert". northeast of Gaza. In 1945, it had a population of 760 and a land area of 11,508 dunams. The village was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.[5]


In 1838, Edward Robinson saw Tall al-Turmus located northwest of Tell es-Safi, where he was staying.[6] He further noted that the name meant "Hill of lupines".[7]

In 1863 the French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village, where he found about 100 houses. The villagers had a very deep well, and used animals to draw water from it.[8]

British Mandate era

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Tall al-Turnus had a population of 384, all Muslims,[9] increasing in the 1931 census, to 504 Muslims in 136 houses.[10]

In 1945 the population of Tell et Turmus consisted of 760 Arabs and the total land area was 11,508 dunams, according to an official land and population survey.[2] Of this, 154 dunams were used for citrus and bananas, 627 for plantations and irrigable land, 10,403 for cereals,[11] while 35 dunams were built-up areas.[12]

The villagers constructed their houses of adobe, building them first on the hill and later expanding the village site eastward and westward. It shared a school with the neighboring village of Qastina, and the school had 160 pupils by the mid-1940s. Agriculture was the mainstay of the economy.[5]

1948, and aftermath

Israeli forces from the First Battalion of the Givati Brigade captured Tall al-Turmus early in Operation An-Far on July 9–10, 1948. During this operation, the inhabitants of the village were among a minority of Palestinian villagers in the area to have been driven from their village towards the Gaza Strip rather than eastwards towards Hebron. The Jewish settlement of Timorim was established the lands of Tall at-Turmus in 1954. According to Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi, "The debris of the houses are strewn over the site and can be found near the clumps of cactuses and the sycamore and eucalyptus trees that grow there."[5]


A salvage excavation at Tell Turmus was conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in April 2000 prior to the installation of a water pipe. The remains of a pear-shaped hearth were uncovered, surrounded by pieces of burnt clay that probably used to line the hearth. Inside were two pottery vessels containing burnt animal bones, organic material and a bone implement embedded with stone blades probably used as a sickle. The hearth may date to the Chalcolithic period or Early Bronze Age.[13] Two fragments of a Chalcolithic incised scapula were found at Tall al-Turmus.[14]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 275
  2. ^ a b c Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 46
  3. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xix, village #276. Also gives cause of depopulation,
  4. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xxi, settlement #66
  5. ^ a b c Khalidi, 1992, p. 138
  6. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 2, p. 364
  7. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, p. 232
  8. ^ Guérin, 1869, p. 87
  9. ^ Barron, 1923, Table V, Sub-district of Gaza, p. 8
  10. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 6
  11. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 88
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 138
  13. ^ Zelin, 2004, Tell et-Turmus Final Report
  14. ^ On the incised cattle scapulae from the East Mediterranean and the Near East



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