The Mountain of Judah
and the Shephelah
68. Anob now Betoannaba - ('Innaba Beit Nuba)
The problem of locating is difficult. According to Eusebius (4 miles east of Diospolis) the village of 'Annaba (coord. 145145) comes into question, situated about 6 km southeast of Lydda (Diospolis, Ludd). St. Jerome, however, mentions another 'Bethannaba', 8 miles east of Diospolis, which is surely identical with Bet Naba (coord. 153-140), situated 4 km northeast of Nikopolis ('Amwas). The problem is unsolved. The first location seems to be better, but we have to take into consideration that Nikopolis is represented too far to the south and that, consequently, all cities and villages in that area are displaced.
Herbert Donner (The Mosaic Map of Madaba, Kampen 1992, 58)
Israel Roll ("The Roads in Roman-Byzantine Palaestina and Arabia", by Israel Roll", in The Madaba Map Centenary, 112)
Several sites depicted on the mosaic map of Madaba indicate that its makers used data drawn from road-maps and itineraria. Between Jerusalem and Jaffa, a series of places known to be located along the two connecting highways between them, are shown on that map. These are: Bethoron, Kaperouta, Modeim, Adita and Lydda/Diospolis, which bordered, in that sequence, the northern highway - known as the Bethoron road. Also are mentioned Nicopolis, Enataba and Betoannaba, that belonged to the parallel southern road, via Emmaus. The very mentioning of two mile-stations, the fourth (to tetarton), and the ninth (to ennaton), clearly indicate a road-map origin. Those two sites could be identified with two traditional road-stations of the southern highway which possessed plenty of water, that is, Colonia (today Motza) located at the distance of four miles from Jerusalem, and Kiriat Jearim (today Abu Ghosh) - at nine miles from it. (See also the complete article)
Bellarmino Bagatti (Ancient Christian Villages of Samaria, Jerusalem - in the press)
The Madaba mosaic has the conventional design of a village labeled: "Anob, now Betoannaba." It corresponds to the Arab village of 'Annaba. According to Eusebius, Betoannaba was located four miles east of Lydda. Clermont-Ganneau (ARP II, 481) noticed an ancient structure south of the village which was supposed to have been a church. In a little Moslem sanctuary nearby, consecrated to Sheikh 'Isa, the archaeologist saw marble columns and capitals which he concluded had been brought from the church in question.
For more sources and bibliography see:
Tabula Imperii Romani. Iudaea - Palaestina (Jerusalem 1994) s.v. "Betoannaba I", 88.
Map Section 6 Place Sources