Installation. The installation was a small, round structure (L3; diam 2.5 m; Figs. 3, 4) delimitated by a circular wall (width 0.35–0.45 m, preserved height c. 0.9 m). The wall was built of fist-sized stones (width 0.30–0.35 m) and coated on the interior face with a layer of mortar (thickness 7–8 cm) overlaid by a layer of grayish white plaster (thickness 2–3 cm). The upper part of the wall curves inwards. Inside the chamber was a plaster floor made of the same plaster that coated the wall. A circular settling pit (L4; diam c. 0.7 m, depth c. 0.55 m) was set in the floor; within it was an ashy gray fill devoid of finds. On the eastern side of the floor, adjacent to the wall, was a low, roughly quadrangular plaster step (0.30–0.58 × 0.45 m, height 0.10–0.15 m; Fig. 5). Adjacent to this step, on its southwest side, was a very hard mass comprised of plaster and stone. Inside this mass was a single bronze coin (IAA 102272) dated to the fourth–fifth centuries CE. On the southern side of the plaster floor, beside the wall, was a small round hole (diam c. 5 cm, depth c. 5 cm).
The installation was full to the top of the extant wall with a reddish, sandy fill containing numerous potsherds, including restorable vessels, glass sherds and a single iron item. Most of the sherds date from the Byzantine period. Among these, the most common finds belonged to southern coastal bag-shaped storage jars (Fig. 6:6). The rest belonged to a casserole with a beveled rim, flaring walls and horizontal handles placed high on the wall, extending from the rim (Fig. 6:1), which is typical of the Byzantine period; a cooking pot with an upright rim and a slightly swollen neck (Fig. 6:2); two heavy, coarse, cup-like stoppers (Fig. 6:3, 4), one of which (Fig. 6:4) has a knob rim;and two flasks (Fig. 6:7, 8) from the late Byzantine period. Also found were two corrugated bases of Gaza storage jars (not drawn). One is Majcherek (1995)
Form 3, dating from the late fifth to the end of the sixth centuries CE; the other is Majcherek (1995)
Form 4, dating from the late sixth to the seventh, or possibly eighth centuries CE. One sherd is earlier: a storage jar or jug with a folded rim (Fig. 6:5), possibly from the late Hellenistic period. The glass vessel fragments, some of which were restorable, include the rim of a glass bowl (Fig. 7:1) dating from the fifth century CE and the top part of a small bottle (Fig. 7:2) from the Byzantine period. A bent iron sheet (plowshare? Fig. 8) was found at the top of the installation’s fill. One end is pointed and the other end has two small holes, evidently for fastening it to a handle.
Walls. The installation is abutted on the north by an east–west wall (W1; width c. 0.6 m) that forms a corner with a north–south wall (W2; width c. 0.7 m). Both walls were constructed of fist- to head-sized kurkar stones bonded with clay.
A sterile, orange-colored soil fill was found adjacent to the exterior of the built corner and the installation. Both elements were covered by an accumulation of yellowish, loose, sandy soil, containing much modern rubbish.
The function of the installation is not clear, although it was very likely associated with agricultural produce. It may be a collecting vat—the only preserved element of a winepress. Except for one early sherd, all the dateable finds found within the installation are from the Byzantine period (the fifth and sixth centuries CE). However, these finds accumulated after the installation went out of use.