Three areas (A, E, H) were opened in two lots (2001, 2002; Fig. 2). One square was opened in Lot 2002, in the southeastern part of the Area A, and a potter’s kiln dating to the fifth century CE was exposed. Two areas were opened in Lot 2001, west of Lot 2002; four squares (B1, C1–C3) were opened in Area H after remains were identified in a probe trench and three and one half squares (D1–D3) were opened south of the trench, c. 1 m lower. A half square was opened in the northwestern part of Area E and architectural remains from the sixth–seventh centuries CE, two later pits from the Ottoman period and remains of a drainage channel were exposed.
Area A. A round kiln (L102; diam. 3.2 m, max. height 2 courses; Figs. 3, 4) built of medium-sized ashlars and fieldstones. There appeared to be a lining of mud bricks on its interior (W101). Five piers of fired bricks (L104) in the center of the kiln apparently supported arches, on which the floor of the firing chamber was laid. The arches were supported by a round central column (L105; diam. 0.5 m) built of small fieldstones that was exposed in the middle of the firebox. A stoke hole (L103) through which the firebox was fueled was exposed in the northern side of the kiln (Fig. 5). The ceramic finds recovered from the kiln included jars (Fig. 6:1–4) dating to the fifth century CE.
Area H (Fig. 7). Remains of a building, consisting of a massive wall (W306, max. height three courses) built of ashlars and fieldstones and oriented east–west (Fig. 8) were exposed in Squares C1–C3 in the northern part of the area. The wall was abutted by an internal wall (W317; max. height three courses) built of ashlars and fieldstones and oriented north–south, which partitioned the structure into two rooms (L320, L321). Another wall (W314), aligned north–south and built of medium-sized ashlars and small fieldstones, was exposed north of W306. At the southern end of the wall was a doorjamb that probably served as an entrance from the courtyard (L313) of the building in the east to another room (L322). Floor sections composed of small and medium fieldstones were preserved in the building’s courtyard and in the other room. Inside the building was a drainage channel (L308) built of small fieldstones and gray mortar, and covered with medium-sized fieldstone slabs. A layer of gray plaster was exposed above some of its sections (Fig. 9). The channel turned south in the southwestern part of the building (Sq C2) and continued beneath W306 to the southwest. A section of the channel was exposed in the southeastern corner of Square C1. The channel and the walls of the building were exposed in a section in the south (Fig. 10). This therefore is a large wide building, but due to the destruction caused by earthmoving work prior to the excavation, it was not possible to expose it completely. The building remains date to the sixth–seventh centuries CE.
No ancient remains were revealed in Square B1. The ceramic artifacts from the building included a bowl (Fig. 11:1), a cooking pan (Fig. 11:2), a cooking pot (Fig. 11:3), a baggy-shaped jar (Fig. 11:4), a Gaza jar (Fig. 11:5) and a pithos (Fig. 11:6), dating to the sixth–seventh centuries CE. Other vessels recovered from the excavation include a flask (Fig. 11:7), a jar (Fig. 11:8) and a lamp (Fig. 11:9), dating to the end of the Byzantine–beginning of the Umayyad periods. Two late pits dug into hamra soil and ascribed to the Ottoman period (L400, L403) were exposed south of the building. The foundation of a drainage channel, which was probably connected to the channel discovered on the northern side of the building, was also exposed. The pits and channel were severed by the earthmoving work that preceded the excavation. The potsherds recovered from inside the late pits included a jug (Fig. 11:10) and a smoking pipe (Fig. 11:11), dating to the Ottoman period.
Area E. A late pit dug into the hamra soil was exposed (diam. 2.1 m). The ceramic finds from the pit were meager and worn, presumably dating to the Ottoman period as well (L505; Fig. 12).
The potter’s kiln in Area A joins the kiln exposed in 2010 (HA-ESI 123
), c. 60 m northeast of the excavation area. The discovery of a pottery workshop is especially important due to its location not far from a large public winepress. Presumably, the winepress utilized an extremely large quantity of pottery vessels for storage and transportation of the wine that was produced. The pottery workshop is therefore consistent with the finds of the previous excavations and corroborates the identification of the site as an ancient industrial region that focused on wine production.
The massive building standing alone in Area H, in the region of wine industry, might be a farmhouse.