During April 2012, a survey was conducted in Nahal Duda’im and west of it, in the region of the Duda’im waste disposal site (License no. S-344/2012; map ref. 17275–825/57950–8400), prior to preparing the ground for forestation. The survey, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Jewish National Fund, was performed by D. Varga, S. Talis and E. Aladjem, with the assistance of S. Gal (GPS) and Y. Al-‘Amor (translation of the Arabic inscription).
1 (Map ref. 173223/581320). Remains of a rectangular building (10×15 m; Fig. 2) comprising two rooms built of partially dressed chalk stones. A stone plaque on the eastern side of the building bears an Arabic inscription indicating that the structure was the residence of Sheikh Saliman Mahmad el-‘Ugabi in the years 1914–1930, and was also used as a courthouse by the Bedouin families of the region, as of the establishment of the State of Israel until the tribe’s removal from the area in 1951. The building’s southern room is apparently a later addition to the northern room, which might have been used at first as a watchman’s hut overlooking the surrounding fields.
2 (Map ref. 173929/581724). Remains of a rectangular building (5×15 m; Fig. 3), consisting of three rooms built of partially dressed chalk stones (wall thickness 0.6 m). Body fragments of black Gaza type jars were gathered from around the building, which date the structure to the Ottoman period and perhaps even to the British Mandate era and the first years of the State of Israel. Based on several of the potsherds from the Byzantine period, discovered around the building, the structure may presumably have been built on ruins from this period.
3 (Map ref. 173761/581323). Remains of a rectangular building (5×7 m; Fig. 4), built of partially dressed chalk stones. Based on its proximity to the structure in Site 2 it might also date to the same periods.
4 (Map ref. 173893/581674). Remains of a square building (5×5 m; Fig. 5) built of partially dressed chalk stones. It is situated at the top of the slope above fields and therefore might have been used as a watchman’s hut.
5 (Map ref. 173354/580224). A cistern hewn in the chalk bedrock. The installation has a square opening hewn adjacent to a bedrock step (Fig. 6). A curved wall that conveys the run-off into the cistern is built around the opening.
6 (Map ref. 173893/581674). A cistern hewn in the chalk bedrock. It has a square opening hewn adjacent to a bedrock step (Fig. 7).
The survey area is part of the agricultural hinterland of the large settlements that were situated in its vicinity.