During July 2000 a trial excavation was conducted in the eastern part of Moshav Ahihud (Permit No. A-3250; map ref. NIG
21680–85/75680–85; OIG 16680–85/25680–85) in an area slated for construction. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by M. Cohen (photography), with the assistance of H. Abu ‘Uqsa and V. Essman and V. Pirsky (surveying and drafting).
Twelve squares were opened in a sampling of twelve building lots on a hill, 60 m above sea level. The remains of four walls, two buildings and numerous water cisterns were exposed, all oriented in a general north-northeast direction, indicating a densely built up zone in the middle of the spur.
A quarry was revealed on the northern fringes of the spur and the remains of a complex winepress were exposed along the spur’s eastern fringes. The winepress, mostly destroyed by mechanical equipment, had survived by a work surface paved with white tesserae that surrounded it and a bedrock-hewn collecting vat (3.2 × 3.6 m, depth 2.3 m). Ten steps paved with white mosaic led down to the bottom of the collecting vat in whose southwestern corner was a hewn settling pit.
Most of the ceramic and numismatic finds are dated from the Late Roman and Byzantine periods until the Early Islamic period. The earliest finds, dating to the Early Roman period, were recovered from the northern part of the quarry’s bottom. The latest finds came from the fill and dated to the Early Islamic period.