In May 2016, a salvage an excavation was conducted near Nahal Soreq (Permit No. A-7688; map ref. 20910–5/62970–5; Fig. 1), prior to the installation of the fifth water pipeline to Jerusalem. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Mekorot Company, was directed by I. Radashkovsky (field photography), with the assistance of N. Nehama (administration), B. Touri (safety), A. Hajian and M. Kahan (surveying and drafting) and N. Zak (map and plans). Additional assistance was rendered by J. Uziel, A. Shadman and A. Eirikh-Rose.
The kiln was equipped with a firebox, a ventilation channel and a surrounding wall. The firebox, which was rock-hewn, was almost circular (L1; 3.3 × 3.5 m, depth 3.9 m). Its walls slanted slightly outwards and were lined with small stones and mortar; wide fissures opened in several places in the walls, a result of the natural weathering of the bedrock, the heat from the kiln and damage caused by the roots of a tree. The floor of the kiln (L10) was flat and; a layer of lime mixed with stones (L6; thickness 0.3 m) had accumulated on it. The bottom part of the firebox was enclosed by a wall (W9; width 0.3 m, height c. 0.9 m) built of small stones. A layer of ash and lime had accumulate on the wall's stones, and it seems that the wall was damaged while the kiln was still in use. The ventilation channel, which was wide and deep (L3; 0.9 × 2.8 m, height c. 1.6 m; Fig. 4), extended from the west into the firebox, terminating at its floor level. The bottom part of the channel was rock-hewn, whereas its upper part was constructed of two parallel walls (W11, W12). Large stones placed in the channel's opening divided it into three levels (L5—0.30 × 0.35; L7—0.3 × 0.3 m; L8—0.3 × 0.5 m; Fig. 5) to improve the flow of air into the firebox. The channel was found filled with ash, lime and collapsed stones of various sizes. The wall surrounding the firebox (W13) was constructed of stones of various sizes bonded with mortar and earth. The wall had survived to a height of one course, and part of it was missing because of a tree that had been planted there. This wall presumably supported the ceiling of the kiln that was apparently dome-shaped but was not preserved.
No datable finds were discovered inside the kiln. Its plan and the method employed in its construction are similar to those of limekilns previously discovered in the vicinity and dated to the Ottoman period. This kiln can be added to the long list of comparable installations that operated in various regions in Israel during this period, attesting to the existence of an extensive lime industry.