During January 2007, a survey prior to development was conducted in the Arza compound, in Moza ‘Illit (Permit No. A-5015*; map ref. NIG 2144–55/6333–8; OIG 1644–55/1333–8). The survey, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Mishkenot Moza Company, Ltd., was performed by M. Birkenfeld and D. En-Mor (photography).
The General Federation of Labor in Palestine established in 1923 a convalescent home in the Arza compound and in 1930 an administration building was erected there, both of which have been designated for preservation. The compound was abandoned and fenced off with the privatization of the federation’s assets in the 1990s and the sale of the Israel Land Development Company which was responsible for the compound. Twelve sites with antiquities were documented in the survey, among them the remains of a building, a water cistern and farming terrace walls (Fig. 1). Numerous rock-hewn installations had previously been documented in the vicinity, among them winepresses, olive presses, water reservoirs and water cisterns from different periods, as well as burial caves from
the Intermediate Bronze Age (D. Bahat, 1975, Eretz Israel 12:18–23 [Hebrew]) and Middle Bronze II (V. Sussman, 1966, ‘Atiqot 3 [HS]:40–43 [Hebrew]).
(Site 1). A heap (diam. 4 m) of medium-sized masonry stones was covered with thick vegetation. The wall of a farming terrace abutted the eastern side of the heap.
Water Cistern (Site 12). The southern part of the cistern was hewn, whereas its northern part was built of fieldstones (height of construction 2 m). At present, the poured concrete capstone of the cistern is surrounded by a cement surface (Fig. 2). A hewn channel led to the cistern from the south and part of it was covered by the cement surface. Various rock-cuttings that predated the modern construction were discerned around the cistern.
Farming terraces were the main elements noted in the survey (Sites 2–11). The terraces’ retaining walls (length 10–20 m), mostly oriented east–west, were built of fieldstones and roughly hewn medium-sized stones and preserved five to eight courses high (Fig. 3). The walls of two terraces were aligned north–south (Sites 9, 10). The wall of one of the retaining walls (Site 5; Fig. 4) was built of two rows of large dressed stones in a northwest-southeast direction.
The ceramic finds collected in the survey were meager and included mostly worn, non-diagnostic potsherds. The survey was conducted in an area that was mostly built-up and therefore, it was impossible to obtain a complete picture of how the area was utilized in antiquity. That notwithstanding, it seems that the region was used primarily for agriculture.