In September 2016, a trial excavation took place in the western part of Kibbutz Karmiyya (Permit No. A-7785; map ref. 156240–308/612553–642; Fig. 1) following damage to antiquities by a mechanical tool, prior to expansion. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by the Jewish Agency Settlement Department, was directed by A. Fraiberg, with the assistance of Y. Alamor (administration), N.S. Paran (Southern District), Y. Shmidov (plans), I. Lidsky-Resnikov (pottery drawing), C. Amit (photography of finds), T. Winter (glass identification), Y. Abadi-Reiss (guidance) and laborers from Rahat.
The excavation was conducted on a low sand dune c. 200 m west of Tel Karmiyya. Four excavation squares were opened (Fig. 2), revealing meager remains of an occupation level on the dune (L100): patches of clayey soil mixed with ash (L101–L103; 0.10–0.15 m; Fig. 3). Within these patches, above them and alongside them were pottery sherds, glass shards, stone tools, white tesserae of various sizes, fragments of fired mud-bricks, pieces of slag and broken kurkar building stones. Most of the finds date from the Byzantine period, but some date from the late Ottoman and British Mandate periods.
The pottery from the Byzantine period includes an imported African Red Slip bowl (Fig. 4:1), a krater with a thickened, inverted rim and a combed design under the rim (Fig. 4:2), a cooking pot (Fig. 4:3), a cooking pot lid (Fig. 4:4), a frying pan with a wishbone handle (Fig. 4:5) and a Gaza jar (Fig. 4:6). Two black Gaza bowls (Fig. 5:1, 2) date from the Ottoman and British Mandate periods; Bowl 2 was repaired with iron wire, which survived on the sherd. The Byzantine-period glass shards include two fragments of a round window with a folded rim and a fragment of a very worn base, perhaps of a bowl-shaped oil lamp with a wick-tube (not drawn). Among the stone objects found in the excavation was a granite hammerstone (Fig. 5:3).