Remains indicative of agricultural activity that began in the Byzantine period and continuing into the Early Islamic period (sixth–seventh centuries CE; Fig. 2) were uncovered. Scattered pottery sherds and building stones, possibly the remains of other structures that were not preserved due to accelerated soil erosion in the area, were exposed on the surface.
Area A. A rectangular building (4.0 × 5.1 m; Fig. 3) that once served as a dwelling was exposed. Its walls (width c. 0.6 m), aligned northeast–southwest, were constructed of small and large limestone fieldstones bonded with clay and were preserved to a height of two–three courses. The entrance was apparently fixed in the northwestern wall (W13; width c. 0.8 m). Pottery sherds dating to the end of the Byzantine–beginning of the Early Islamic periods (sixth–seventh centuries CE; Fig. 4) and hearths and a tabun made of small stones (L107; Fig. 5) were found on a tamped clay floor (L106) inside the building. The ceramic assemblage discovered on the floor of the building and in the accumulations of overlying strata included plain bowls with a thickened, slightly everted rim, a type characterized by a wavy incised decoration below the rim (Fig. 4:1, 2), a fragment of a deep bowl with a narrow ledge rim (Fig. 4:4), two fragments of imported Cypriot Red Slip bowls dating to the end of the sixth century CE (Fig. 4:5, 6), a large casserole with a cut rim and a ribbed body (Fig. 4:7), two casserole lids (Fig. 4:8, 9), a closed cooking pot with a short neck and a thickened, everted rim (Fig. 4:10), a bag-shaped jar with a swollen neck and a thin rim (Fig. 4:13) and an amphora with a tall neck, a thickened and everted rim, and a pair of loop handles that are drawn from below the rim to the shoulder of the vessel (Fig. 4:14). These amphoras were common throughout the country and the Mediterranean basin in the Late Byzantine and the beginning of the Early Islamic periods; they are named after the Yassi Ada shipwreck off the Turkish coast.
Area B. A structure that was probably a field tower (3.2 × 3.3 m; Fig. 6) was exposed. Its walls (width 0.6 m), oriented north–south and east–west, were built of small and medium-sized limestone fieldstones bonded with clay, and were preserved to a height of three–four courses. Several collapsed stones were found around the walls, and it appears that the upper courses of the walls were built of mudbricks that did not survive. The entrance to the building (width c. 0.8 m) was installed in the southwestern wall (W23) and was discovered blocked by medium-sized stones set in place diagonally. The floor of the building was made of tamped clay (L208). A few fragments of pottery and glass vessels found on the floor date to the Late Byzantine–beginning of the Early Islamic period (sixth–seventh centuries CE). The pottery assemblage included a deep bowl with a narrow ledge rim (Fig. 4:3), a jug typical of the beginning of the Early Islamic period (Fig. 4:11), a bag-shaped jar with a slightly everted rim (Fig. 4:12) and a kurkar weight (Fig. 4:15). The glass artifacts included a folded-in rim of a bottle/juglet dating to the Late Byzantine–beginning of the Early Islamic periods and a fragment of an opaque turquoise bracelet dating to the Mamluk and Ottoman periods. The bracelet, which was found on the surface, was probably swept there during a later period.
A coin minted in the years 383–395 CE (IAA 158294) was found near the entrance, outside the building. It is possible that the coin remained in circulation until a later period, when a settlement existed there. The blocked entrance suggests that the site was abandoned in an orderly manner, probably at the beginning of the Early Islamic period.
. An agricultural terrace, probably part of a farmstead (W30; length c. 30 m; Fig. 7) was found in Area C; the terrace was mostly built of one row of stones and was one course high. Farmsteads of this type generally included a farmhouse, a system for catching runoff and cultivation plots (Haiman 1997
). An installation (diam. c. 0.5 m) adjacent to the agricultural terrace may have been used as a planter for a tree or vine in a vineyard (L300; Fig. 8). Although no artifacts were discovered that could aid in dating the terrace, it was presumably used during the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods.
Remains of a dwelling and a terrace belonging to a farm built in the Byzantine period were exposed in the excavation; the complex existed by collecting runoff. Another structure, probably a field tower, was exposed c. 100 m north of the residential building. The vessels from the pottery assemblage reflect a variety of activities such as storage, cooking and serving types. The farm was abandoned at the beginning of the Early Islamic period and the area remained unoccupied until the modern era.