|Also spelled||Soukhmata Sahmatah, Samueth, Samahete|
|Date of depopulation||30 October 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Military assault by Yishuv forces|
|Current localities||Tzuriel, Hosen|
Separated from the neighbouring village of Tarshiha by a deep gorge, the ruins of a Byzantine era church lay within Suhamata's village lands. Underground water reservoir and a burial cave that apparently dates to the Roman period have been found at the village site. Suhmata had a Christian population at least until the Persian invasion of Palestine (A.D. 614-627) and presumably many people remained Christian for some time after that. Excavations in 1932 revealed an inscription in the church's mosaic floor that dates to 555 CE. The Crusaders referred to the village as Samueth or Samahete. Suhamata, the village of Suphie, and some houses in Castellum Regis were purchased by Baldwin IV of Jerusalem from Petronilla of Aragon, the vicecomitissa of Acre, for 4,500 bezants. However, Ronnie Ellenblum writes that it is unlikely that there was actual Frankish settlement in Suhmata. What was earlier termed a Crusader-era castle constructed in the village was (rebuilt by Daher el-Omar in the latter half of the 18th century), turned out to be the Byzantine church.
In 1875 the French explorer Victor Guérin visited Suhmata, and noted that "The village divided into two distinct quarters, occupies two hills near each other, between which is a great birket, partly cut in the rock and partly built. One of these hills is crowned by the remains of a fortress flanked by towers and built with simple rubble; it contained several subterranean magazines, a mosque, and various chambers. The foundation is attributed to Dhaher el Amer. It is now three parts demolished, and on the place where it stood grow vines and tobacco."
In the late nineteenth century, Suhmata was a village built of stone and situated on a ridge and the slope of a hill. The village residents, numbering about 400, tended fig and olive trees.
In the late Ottoman era, an elementary school for boys was founded in the village (1886), and during the Mandatory Palestine, an agricultural school was established. These schools, a mosque, a church, two rain-fed irrigation pools, and some 288 houses made up the built-up portion of the village just prior to the outbreak of the 1948 war.
Over 70 percent of the village land was rocky and uncultivated, covered with oak and wild pears. The agricultural land was planted with wheat, barley, maize, tobacco, and vegetables. Suhmata's tobacco had a reputation for quality. In 1944/45 a total of 3,290 dunums was allocated to cereals; 1,901 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards.
1948 war and aftermath
A naming committee established by the Jewish National Fund, which operated from 1948 to 1951 until its incorporation into a Governmental Naming Committee set up by Israel, renamed Suhmata, "Hosen", meaning "Strength." Meron Benvenisti writes that the committee chose this symbolic new name after determining that there was no known Jewish historical connection to the village of Suhmata.
Suhmata's former inhabitants founded a village committee in 1993 which organizes volunteer efforts. The village committee also conducted a survey of the displaced population from Suhmata and their distribution inside Israel. The village was also the focus of the 1996 play Sahmatah by Hanna Eady and Ed Mast.
- List of Arab towns and villages depopulated during the 1948 Palestinian exodus
- List of villages depopulated during the Arab–Israeli conflict
- Guérin, 1880, p.74
- Morris, 2004, xvii, village #64. Also provides cause of depopulation.
- Robinson, 1857, p. 76.
- "Welcome to Suhmata". Palestine Remembered. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
- Pringle, 1997, p. 118.
- Lerer, 2008, Zuri’el
- Lerer, 2009, Suhmata
- Makhul, Naji 1977, (Acre and its villages since Ancient Times. In Arabic.) p.134, quoted in Khalidi, p.29
- Khalidi, 1992, p.29
- Avi-Yonah,1933: "The Byzantine Church at Suhmata." The Quarterly of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine 3 (2) p.92-105, quoted in Khalidi, p.29
- Ellenblum, 2003, p. 45, note #10.
- Pringle, 1997, p. 118
- Guérin, 1880, pp. 74-75, as translated in Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 192
- Conder & Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p.149. Cited in Khalidi, p.29
- Mansour, 2004, p. 220.
- Benvenisti, 2002, pp. 34-35.
- Masalha and Said, 2005, p. 98.
- Americans for Middle East Understanding February - March 1999
- Benvenisti, Meron (2002), Sacred Landscape: The Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948, Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, University of California Press, ISBN 9780520234222
- Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine.
- Conder, Claude Reignier; Kitchener, H. H. (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology 1. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Ellenblum, Ronnie (2003), Frankish Rural Settlement in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521521871
- Guérin, Victor (1880). Description Géographique Historique et Archéologique de la Palestine (in French). 3: Galilee, pt. 2. Paris: L'Imprimerie Nationale.
- Khalidi, Walid; Elmusa, Sharif S. (1992), All that Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948, Institute for Palestine Studies, ISBN 9780887282249
- Lerer, Yoav, (18/12/2008): Zuri’el, Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel, No. 120.
- Lerer, Yoav, (21/6/2009): Suhmata, Survey Final Report, Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel, No. 121.
- Mansour, Atallah (2004), Narrow Gate Churches: The Christian Presence in the Holy Land Under Muslim and Jewish Rule, Hope Publishing House, ISBN 9781932717020
- Masalha, Nur; Said, Edward W. (2005), Catastrophe Remembered: Palestine, Israel and the Internal Refugees : Essays in Memory of Edward W. Said (1935-2003), Zed Books, ISBN 9781842776230
- Morris, Benny (2004), The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-00967-7
- Pringle, Denys (1997). Secular buildings in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: an archaeological Gazetter. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521 46010 7.
- Robinson, Edward; Smith, Eli; Kiepert, Heinrich (1857), Later Biblical Researches in Palestine, and in the Adjacent Regions: A Journal of Travels in the Year 1852, Crocker and Brewster
- Abnaa' Suhmata, "Sons of Suhmata", the website of the village committee established in 1993.
- Welcome to Suhmata at Palestineremembered
- Suhmata is here, 29/10/2005, Zochrot.
- Hazneh Sama’an (Umm Afif), Suhmata, testimony, 2005, Zochrot.
- Suhmata at Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center
- Suhmata photos, Dr. Moslih Kanaaneh
- http://www.yairgil.com/051029-zochrot/index.htm (29/10/2005)
- http://jacobk9.tripod.com/id37.html (29/10/2005)