In July and August 2008, a salvage excavation was conducted in Modi'im, within the compound of the Tombs of the Maccabees (Southeast; Permit No. A-5484; map ref. 20000/64698) prior to construction. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquties Authority and financed by the Modi'in municipality, was directed by Mordechai Haiman (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration) adn M. Kunin (surveying and drafting).
In previous excavations conducted at the site, agricultural installations, agricultural terraces and farmsteads from the Hellenistic period (Gibson and Lass 1998). The current excavation unearthed sparsely scattered installations and the remains of a road over and area of about 100 × 200 m (Fig. 1).
Road (L100; width 2.5–3.0 m; Fig. 2). A probe was excavated in a road that runs across the entire length of the excavation area and connected cultivation plots. The area surrounding the excavation was disrupted by piles of earth dumped and recent trenching. The course of the road could not be followed beyond the excavation limits. The edges of the road were delimited by two walls (W106, W107; max. length 0.8 m, height c. 0.5 m) built of fieldstones of various sizes stacked together and preserved 1–2 courses high. The road was leveled with a fill of small stones tamped in soil. Bedrock or virgin soil was revealed at the deepest c. 0.3 m below the top of the fill. The fill contained pottery sherds, some dating to the Byzantine period. In a second probe (L101; Fig. 3), excavated c. 50 m west of the first, the continuation of the road was exposed. It was bounded by two wall stumps (W108, W109). Among their stones was a door socket of an ancient dwelling in secondary use, which was probably dragged there from one of the nearby ruins.
Round Stone Clearance Heap (L102; diam. c. 5 m, height c. 0.5 m; Fig. 4). A probe (width c. 1 m) was excavated in the center of the heap, revealing that it was constructed of a circle of stones (max. length of the stones 0.6 m). The circle was not completely preserved and was filled with small stones. Bedrock was reached immediately below the heap.
Elliptical Stone Clearance Heap (L104; 2.8 × 3.8 m; height 0.4 m; Fig. 5). The heap comprised a circle of stones (max. size 0.4 × 0.5 m) filled with small stones. The eastern half of the heap was excavated, revealing virgin soil under it.
Cave(?). A round depression (L103; diam. c. 3 m, depth c. 1 m; Fig. 6), probably an entrance leading into a cistern or a cave, was exposed in a rocky area. The depression was excavated to bedrock (depth c. 0.2 m below the surface). No artifacts were found.
Wall (W105; length c. 2 m; not on plan). A wall abutted a clearance heap (not excavated). It was built of two rows of fieldstones (max. length of the stones 0.4 m) preserved to a height of 1–2 courses. Since no adjoining floor was found, this wall was probably a fence that bordered a cultivation plot.
The sparsely scattered installations found in the excavated area constitute the outlying farmland of one of the nearby settlements, probably Giv‘at Tittora, located c. 700 m to the east. No pottery sherds were found in the installations, nor did they have any unique features by which to date them.