In July–August 2013, a salvage excavation was conducted at ‘En El-Balat (Permit No. A-6862; map ref. 26960/78275; Fig. 1), after antiquities were damaged during the installation of a regional water pipeline. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Mei Golan Association, was directed by O. Zingboym, with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration), W. Atrash (scientific guidance), H. Tahan (pottery drawing) and laborers from Buq‘ata village.
The excavation (25 sq m; Fig. 4) yielded remains of a building and a courtyard founded on the bedrock. Following the removal of an accumulation of soil, a wall (W2) aligned in a southeast–northwest direction was exposed. It was built of dry construction comprising fieldstones and square basalt blocks. The wall was adjoined from the northwest by another wall (W1) of dry construction built of small fieldstones and an upper course of medium-sized stones (Fig. 5). In the southeastern part of the square (L101, L104) next to W2, the bedrock was made level by means of small stones creating a kind of work surface, which was probably a courtyard outside the building. Remains of a tabun (Figs. 6, 7) were found in this courtyard. A floor built of small stones placed on a foundation of larger stones (L105; Fig. 8) was unearthed northwest of W2. It is apparent that the floor was laid within the building, most of which was situated outside the excavation area.
Numerous fragments of pottery vessels from the Early Roman period were discovered on the floor. These included bowls, some of which resemble Kefar Hananya vessels (Types A1 and C4; Fig. 9:1–6), a cooking pot (Fig. 9:7), a jug (Fig. 9:8), a mortarium (Fig. 9:9), jars (Fig. 9:10–12), a juglet (Fig. 9:13) and fragments of pithoi – large storage vessels characteristic of the Golan and the Golan Iturian culture (Fig. 9:14–16). The Kefar Hananya vessels date to the first century CE and are not known in the northern Golan after this period, perhaps due to the end of the kingdom of Herod Agrippa in the region and the subsequent annexation of this region to the northern province.
It seems that the residents of the site, dating to the Early Roman period, were members of the Iturian culture of the northern Golan during this period. The abandonment of the settlement, as at other, nearby settlements, was probably related to the end of the rule of Agrippa I in the northern Golan in the first century CE.
Hartal M. 1983. Northern Golan Heights Survey: The Archaeological Survey as a Source of Regional History. Qazrin (Hebrew).