Tel Hadid is located on an isolated hill, 147 metres above sea level south of on the bank of Wadi al-Natuf a tributary of Naḥal Ayalon. It overlooks the central coastal plain of Israel, the Lod – Lydda Valley and the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.
Nahal Ayalon – Ayalon River – Wadi Musrara is a perennial stream in Israel, originating in the Judean Hills and discharging into the Yarkon River in the area of Tel Aviv.
Hadid – חָדִיד is a moshav in central Israel, north-east of the city of Lod and southeast of the Ben-Gurion International Airport, surrounded by the moshavs of Kefar Truman , Ben Shemen and Ginnaton and the village of Shoham . North of Moshav is the Tovala logistic base of the Israel Defense Forces . Hadid was founded in 1949 as a kibbutz by Yemenite Jewish immigrants, later joined by immigrants from Romania. In 1950, it was reorganized as a moshav affiliated with the Hapoel HaMizrachi movement. The site was about 2km west of the former Palestinian village site and on the land of al-Haditha and the archaeological tel of ancient Hadid (Adida).
The local rock in this area is chalk covered by Nari (hard limestone) crust. Accelerated processes of chalk decay created many natural caves and fallen debris, commonly found in various locations at the site.
Hadid was mentioned in the Mishna as a city of Judea fortified by Joshua.
It has been suggested that Tel Hadid – Al-Haditha was the site of the biblical village of Hadid, mentioned in the Book of Ezra (II, 33) The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono were seven hundred twenty-five.
Hadid is first mentioned in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah among the towns settled by those returning from the Babylonian exile.
Hadid was called ‘Adida in the Book of Maccabees. According to the 1 Maccabees, Hadid was fortified by Simon Thassi during the war with Diodotus Tryphon.
According to Josephus, Vespasian, who led the legions against the Jewish Revolt, decided to block the ways leading to Jerusalem and chose to fortify Hadid.
Eusebius identified Haditha as the site of Adithaim – Adatha or Aditha, a town in the allotment of the Tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:36). 33 In the Lowland: Eshtaol, and Zorah, and Ashnah; and Zanoah, and En-gannim, Tappuah, and Enam; Jarmuth, and Adullam, Socoh, and Azekah;and Shaaraim, and Adithaim, and Gederah, with Gederothaim; fourteen cities with their villages.
The 13th century Jewish scholar, Ishtori Haparchi, traveled seven years across the Holy Land and documented his insights on the local topography and toponomy in his book Kaftor Vaferach. There he wrote that the village of Haditha (חדתא), located on top of a round hill two hours walk east of Lydda, is the place of Biblical Hadid.
Most of Tel Hadid is currently covered by olive plantations, which had been cultivated by the inhabitants of village al-Haditha, which was a Palestinian village depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War on July 12, 1948, under the first stage of Operation Dani.
There are now pine trees, which were planted by the Jewish National Fund. Remains of houses and the cemetery of al-Haditha are still noticeable on the ground.
In 1870, Victor Guérin visited at a quarter of an hour’s distance south-east of Haditheh, found several ancient tombs cut in the rock. He found on the site of an ancient town: Cisterns, tombs, and rock-cut caves, with cut stones scattered about.
An official Ottoman village list of about 1870 showed that “El Hadite” had 28 houses and a population of 145, men only.
In 1882 the PEF’s Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described the village as “a moderate-sized village on a terraced Tell at the mouth of a valley at the foot of the hills, with a well on the east. There are remains of a considerable town round it, tombs and quarries exist ; and the mound on which the village stands is covered with pottery.”
British Mandate era
Logistics Corps on Tel Chadid Hill
The site, now known as Tel Hadid, has yielded significant archaeological remains from many periods. According to preliminary publications, the earliest remains date to the Intermediate Bronze Age. After a settlement gap of centuries, the site was resettled during the Late Bronze Age. The settlement reached its peak in the Iron Age II, under the Kingdom of Israel and, after its downfall, under the Assyrian Empire.
In the years 1999-2002 tunnels under Tel Hadid were constructed in order to clear a path for the cross-Israel highway #6. During the course of the excavations, under the direction of Professor Itzhaq Beit-Arieh and Etti Brand, on behalf of the Tel Aviv University, a typical four room house and numerous potsherds from the Iron Age (9th-8th centuries BCE) were exposed along the fringes of Tel Hadid. Two complete tablets, written in cuneiform and excellently preserved, were uncovered next to the building. The earlier of the two documents is a note recording the sale of land dating from 698 BCE and the latter is a promissory note from 664 BCE.
Tel Hadid Scenic Lookout
The observation deck on top of Tel Hadid in Ben Shemen Forest overlooks the area between Petach Tikva, Lod, Ramle and Tel Aviv. Next to the observation deck is a KKL-JNF recreation area.