During July 2009, a salvage excavation was conducted at Khirbat el-Umm Rashid north of Tiv‘on (Permit No. A-5701; map ref. 213724–61/739170–201). The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by R. Abu Raya (surveying, photography), with the assistance of Y. Lavan (administration), N. Getzov (pottery), H. Tahan-Rosen (pottery drawing) and D. Syon (numismatics).
An excavation square was opened at the top of the northern slope of a hill; a quarry in the nari bedrock, which consisted of four stepped quarrying levels (total depth 2.2 m; Figs. 1, 2), was exposed. The quarrying in the upper level was shallow (max. depth c. 0.2 m) probably so as to create a leveled work surface. The rest of the levels were formed by deeper hewing. A stone (0.50 × 0.55 × 0.65 m) exposed in the northern end of the bottom level was not completely hewn. Two layers of fill were discovered in the quarry. The upper layer (thickness c. 1 m) extended from the surface level to the second from the top quarrying level and contained black soil, numerous ashlars (dimensions of the largest stone c. 0.4 × 0.5 × 0.7 m), mixed pottery finds from the Late Roman until the Mamluk periods, and a single coin dating to the reign of Ptolemy II (260–250 BCE), which was minted in Tyre (IAA 106536). The bottom layer (thickness c. 1.35 m) contained brown soil, many small stones and potsherds, divided into two assemblages. The ceramic finds in the lower part of the layer dated to the Late Byzantine period (end of the sixth–beginning of seventh centuries CE) and comprised a wide range of vessels – half imports and half locally produced. The imported vessels consisted of Late Roman Red bowls and kraters imported from the Mediterranean basin, including Phocaean red slipped bowls from Turkey (Fig. 3:1–3), Cypriot bowls (Fig. 3:4–9), North African red slipped bowls (Fig. 3:10, 11), Cypriot kraters (Fig. 3:12, 13), kraters from northern Syria (Fig. 3:14, 15) and amphorae from the Black Sea region (Fig. 3:16, 17). The locally produced pottery vessels included handmade kraters (Fig. 4:1–4), a closed cooking pot (Fig. 4:5) and jars (Fig. 4:6, 7). The ceramic finds in the upper part of the fill’s lower layer included a few sherds of locally produced pottery dating to the Umayyad and the beginning of the Abbasid periods (end of the seventh–eighth centuries CE), among them a lid (Fig. 4:8), a cooking krater (Fig. 4:9), two cooking pots (Fig. 4:10, 11) and jars (Fig. 4:12–14), as well as a fragment of a cooking pot (Fig. 4:15) and a fragment of a flask (Fig. 4:16) from the Mamluk period (thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE). It is assumed that the two potsherds from the Mamluk period originated in the upper layer of fill.