Two squares (A, B; 50 sq m; Fig. 2) were opened 10 m apart, revealing architectural remains in three settlement strata: Early Islamic (Stratum I), Byzantine (Stratum II) and Hellenistic (Stratum III). In addition, pottery sherds from the Early Roman period were collected that were not found in an architectural context, attesting to an Early Roman presence near the site.
Stratum III—Hellenistic–Roman periods. No buildings remains were exposed in Square A, but fragments of pottery vessels ascribed to the Hellenistic period were discovered, such as a bowl with an inverted rim (Fig. 3:1), a cooking pot (Fig. 3:2) and a jar (Fig. 3:3).
A crushed chalk floor (L115) with a cluster of animal bones on it representing mainly sheep and some goats was exposed in Square B (below). A fragment of a red-slipped, wheel-made radial lamp (Fig. 3:4) was found with the bones.
A few sherds ascribed to the Roman period were found in the northwestern corner of Square A (L105), where there were no architectural remains, and included a Roman bag-shaped jar (Fig. 3:5).
Stratum II—Byzantine period. A wall (W107; Fig. 4) preserved to a height of four to five courses, founded on bedrock, was exposed in Square A. The wall was built of two rows of medium-sized fieldstones with small stones in between. Remains of a stone floor (L112) built of small densely-packed fieldstones and soil abutted the southern side of the wall. Fragments of pottery vessels from the Byzantine period, including a bowl (Fig. 3:6) and a cooking pot (Fig. 3:7), were found alongside the wall and on the floor.
A wall (W104; width 1.5 m; Fig. 5) preserved to a height of one course built of two rows of roughly hewn stones and a core of small fieldstones was exposed in Square B. A stone floor (L111) identical to that in Square A abutted the southern side of the wall.
Stratum I—Early Islamic period. A wall stump (W102) that had been damaged by mechanical equipment was exposed in Square B, above W104 of Stratum II. The wall was constructed of a single row of large stones and was preserved to a height of one course. Although the finds in this stratum were fragmentary and damaged, they could be dated to the Early Islamic period based on the pottery vessel fragments, which included a glazed bowl (Fig. 3:8), discovered in the accumulation near the wall.
Nimrod Marom
The animal bones were collected and identified according to biological species and skeletal part, using as reference the comparative collection of the archaeozoological laboratory of the University of Haifa. The age of the animals was determined based on dental erosion and epiphyseal fusion. The bones were measured (Table 1) and taphonomic observations such as carnivore gnawing and weathering were recorded. Quantification of species and skeletal part frequencies (Table 2) was calculated by a simple count of the number of identified bone fragments (N). Most of the finds (N=39) date to the Hellenistic period (L110) and a smaller amount (N=6) are from a locus dating to the Byzantine period (L106). The sample from the Byzantine period is composed entirely of sheep/goat bones but the sample lacks sufficient information due to its small size.
The bones from the Hellenistic locus mostly represent sheep (N=8) and a smaller number of goats (N=3). The skeletal parts rich in meat are well-represented, as opposed to feet and heads, which are rare. All the bones on which epiphyseal fusion was visible (N=26) were fused, evidence that most of the individuals represented in the assemblage were slaughtered as adults. A female was identified based on a pelvic fragment. No signs of butchering marks were observed on the bones; however, many of them exhibited signs of weathering (N=10; 25%) and gnawing of dogs (N=2) and rodents (N=1). The taphonomic observations show that the bones were exposed for a lengthy period to both the weather and carnivores; hence, the slow rate of debris and sediment stratification during the formation of the assemblage.
The considerable number of meat-bearing skeletal parts of sheep generally indicates that the source of the animals is from an urban meat market. This conclusion, however, remains doubtful due to the small size of the assemblage and its provenance in a single locus.
Table 1. Measurements of animal bones from L110
DL     Bd     GLI
18.3   21      32.7
17.8   21.4   32.7
BT     HTC
33.1   18.2
31.8   18.2
Phalanx I
Bd     Bp     GLpe
11.2   12.6   38.7
13      14.2   40.4
13.1   13.7   39.4
13.1   14.2   40.1
12      32.8   39
11.2   12.8   39
Table 2. Frequency of skeletal parts of sheep/goats from L110
Body part
Description   N
1       3
Mandible       1
Front Limbs
9      23
Scapula          2
Humerus        2
Radius            3
Ulna               2
Rear Limbs
15    38
Pelvis            2
Femur           3
Patella           1
Tibia             3
Astragalus    2
Calcaneus    2
Naviculo-cuboid 2                     
14    35
Metacarpus    3
Metatarsus     3
Phalanx I       6
Phalanx II      2
Despite the limited excavation area, the remains that were exposed contribute information about the settlement in Yoqne‘am over a number of periods. The earliest period—the Hellenistic period—is represented by a floor and archaeozoological finds. The Hellenistic settlement probably also extended to the foot of the tell. The Roman period was only represented by ceramic artifacts, probably related to finds from a previous excavation. It seems that during the Roman period the settlement did not extend to this area, but was reduced to the top of the tell. The wall foundations that were exposed, including the base of the wide wall, indicate that in the late Byzantine period the settlement expanded, perhaps as a sort of rural appendage at the edge of the tell. The finds from the Islamic period attest to renewed construction during this time and expansion beyond the tell.