During May 2005, a salvage excavation was conducted along the western fringes of Tel Shilat (Permit No. A-4486; map ref. 202225/647275), in the wake of exposing archaeological remains during the construction of a swimming pool in Moshav Shilat. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by Moshav Shilat, was directed by V. Shlomi, with the assistance of E. Bachar (administration), T. Kornfeld (surveying and drafting), T. Sagiv (field photography) and M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing).
The fieldwork was concentrated in one square; part of a pit (diam. 0.9 m; Figs. 1, 2) that contained fragments of pottery vessels from the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods was exposed. The upper part of the pit was dug into dark clay soil and was lined with different size fieldstones. The lower part utilized a natural hollow in the limestone bedrock. Two layers of fill were discerned in the pit. The upper layer (L104) contained pale red soil and numerous fragments of pottery vessels and the lower layer (L109), which was sealed with friable chalky material, contained ash mixed with many potsherds. The body fragments from the lower layer were found to be distorted and it is obvious that they were damaged as a result of intense fire. It seems that the pit was used for the disposal of waste from a nearby pottery kiln. The ceramic artifacts recovered from the pit, including bowls (Fig. 3:1), kraters (Fig. 3:3–5), cooking pots (Fig. 3:6), jars (Fig. 3:7) and jugs (Fig. 3:9), which are dated to the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods, testify to the prolonged time the pit was used. A bowl (Fig. 3:2) and jar (Fig. 3:8) from these periods were found in the layer of fill that sealed the pit (L101).
A circular hollow in the limestone bedrock (L110), along the northern side of the pit, contained stratified clusters of stones and potsherds. This hollow was probably used as a kiln, although it was not excavated due to safety considerations.