During July 2008, a survey preceding development was conducted in and around Tell of Shuqayif (Survey License No. S-49/2008; map ref. 26335–80/75115–51), prior to development. The survey, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Mother Earth Recreation Village, was carried out by O. Zingboym and Z. Daniel, with the assistance of the Golan Regional Council (GPS) and the Orthophoto Company (aerial photography).
Tel Shuqayif is located east of Moshav Ramot in the southern Golan Heights. The survey was carried out on the tell and along its eastern and southern sides. The survey area was divided into four secondary areas, based on the nature of finds (A–D; Fig. 1). The survey was initially performed on foot and subsequently, a backhoe was used to dig probe trenches in Areas C and D, to gauge the scope of the ancient site. During the Emergency Survey of the Golan Heights, potsherds that dated to Middle Bronze II, Late Bronze Age, Iron Age and the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Early Islamic and Ottoman periods, were collected at Tel Shuqayif. Parts of an olive press were documented and a modern village was situated at the top of the tell and to its east (M. Kochavi [ed.] Judaea, Samaria and the Golan – Archaeological Survey 1967–1968. Jerusalem, pp. 281–282 [Hebrew]). A mausoleum was documented in a survey (License No. G-21/1996), southwest of the tell.
It became apparent in the survey that the remains of the ancient site extended across an elongated spur that is oriented east–west. It seems that the center of the site was at the top of the spur, where remains of a city wall, built of large stones, were discerned. Remains of a modern village were noted along the eastern part of the spur and brown soil was discerned east of the spur and the site, which may indicate that the village continued into this area.
Area A was characterized by light color soil that is typical of a tell; scattered potsherds and the tops of walls were visible across the surface. Area B was noted for its brown soil; a few potsherds scattered on the surface; the tops of walls, some of which were modern; and ancient building stones, which were partly incorporated in the walls of the modern buildings and partly lying on the ground. Area B seems to have been part of the ancient site; however, it was covered with the buildings of the village situated at the site. Area C, which extended across the southeastern fringes of the site, close to the orchards, was disrupted by mechanical equipment that had been used to prepare the ground for planting. A probe trench dug in the area indicated that it was probably located beyond the bounds of the ancient site. Area D was filled with alluvium (thickness 0.3–2.3 m).
A wadi channel had traversed the area in the past; however, it was probably blocked at the beginning of the 1990s (according to local farmers) when the Jewish National Fund conducted earthmoving works and an underground pipe was installed. Based on a probe trench, it is clear that the entire area was located beyond the limits of the ancient site.