In March–April 2016, a salvage excavation was conducted in Nahal Shoqet, near Hura Junction (Permit No. A-7682; map ref. 192678-90/578032-42; Fig. 1). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Netivei Israel Company Ltd., was directed by A. Perez, with the assistance of Y. Al-ʽAmor (administration) and A. Hajian (surveying). Laborers from Kuseife and Tel Sheva‘ participated in the excavation.
Previous excavations at the site and in its immediate vicinity revealed a farmstead (Varga 2003
) and a field tower (Nikolsky-Carmel 2009
), both from the Byzantine period, a villa rustica
from the beginning of the Early Islamic period (Peretz 2012
) and a cistern (Zelin 2001
). In 2014 and 2015, a monastery (Varga 2015
) and remains of another building from the Byzantine period (Permit No. A-7413) were excavated.
Three squares (50 sq m; Fig. 2) were opened c. 40 m southwest of the monastery and c. 10 m west of the building. Meager remains of a wall and collapse from the late Byzantine period were uncovered, in addition to modern cables and fill that severely damaged the ancient remains.
A wall stump (W111; Figs. 2, 3) built of limestone and chalk aligned northwest–southeast was exposed in the eastern square. Above the wall and along its sides was an accumulation of broken chalk stones (L110) and tamped loess (L104) that were damaged by a modern refuse pit (L100). At a higher elevation southeast of the wall was a level of stones near a modern trench containing cables. It is unclear if that level was part of the ancient remains or was meant to cover the modern infrastructure.
In the northwestern square, layers of accumulation (L101, L103, L108) were exposed that included chalk stones, Byzantine pottery sherds and modern material.
The scant finds recovered above and near the wall date to the late Byzantine period (sixth –early seventh centuries CE). These remains are probably related to the nearby building excavated previously (Permit No. A-7413).
Nikolsky-Carmel V. 2009. Hura, Nahal Shoqet. HA-ESI 121
Varga D. 2003. A Farmstead at Giv‘at Mahat (Hura). ʽAtiqot 43:107*–113* (Hebrew; English summary, p. 259).
Zelin A. 2001. Horbat Hur. HA-ESI 113:127*.