In September 2017, a salvage excavation was conducted in Yeroham (Permit No. A-8105; map ref. 192783–937/542642–748; Fig. 1), prior to the construction of a new neighborhood. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Yeroham Economic Corporation, was directed by A. Rasiuk (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Haimi (field photography), Y. Alamor (administration), E. Aladjem (surveying) R. Berin (drafting) and D. Yegorov (flint identification) and with the help of laborers from Kuseifa.
The site, located on the bank of Nahal Shu‘alim and within the streambed, was surveyed in a development survey (License No. S-765/2017). The survey identified 121 archaeological features, of which 114 are agricultural terrace walls. During the excavation (Fig. 2), one of the terrace walls was excavated (W100; Site 34 in survey), a field wall (W106) was cleaned, and a nearby field tower, which was damaged when a path was cut across the wadi, was identified and documented.
A terrace (W100; Fig. 3) ran along the bank of Nahal Shu‘alim in a curving course that kept a general north–south orientation. It was built of a single row of medium-sized fieldstones of flint and limestone (average stone size 0.20 × 0.35 × 0.35 m) placed on their narrow side. Small stones were mounded up against its eastern face, probably to strengthen the base of the terrace. Only one course was preserved, placed over the mixture of clayey soil and small stones similar in makeup to that of the streambed. Numerous collapsed stones were found along the entire west face of the terrace.
At the south end of the terrace, a long field wall (W106; length c. 65 m; Fig. 4) was built of a single row of medium-sized fieldstones that continued eastward. It was apparently intended to divert the flow of water and capture the alluvial soil to form a plot of farmland.
The field tower (Figs. 5, 6) was rectangular in plan. It was built on a small hillock inside the wadi channel. Its walls (width 0.50–0.75 m) were built of two rows of large and medium-sized stones of flint and limestone (average stone size 0.25 × 0.30 × 0.45 m) laid widthwise and interspersed with small stones. The southwest wall was destroyed when the path was cut across the wadi, and two other walls were damaged. The walls, set directly on the channel bed, were preserved to a height of three courses. A tamped-earth floor (L104), laid on the wadi deposits, was detected inside the building. Body fragments of bag-shaped jars were found inside and outside the building. A Lower Paleolithic hand ax was found near the field tower; it had obviously been washed down to the site.
The terrace and the field wall joining it from the east belonged to an agricultural system that captured the runoff water and the alluvium carried with it, creating a conveniently level plot of rich farmland. The field tower—a rectangular building overlooking the plot and other terraces—was probably built to guard and protect the fields and their produce. No diagnostic pottery was recovered. However, the style of construction, the numerous agricultural terraces in the surrounding area and the proximity to the Yeroham Fortress, all suggest that the site was part of its agricultural system during the Byzantine period.