Area A (5×8 m; Figs. 1, 2). Rock-cuttings in the chalk bedrock, which were covered with clayish soil, mixed with chips that were the result of stone dressing (L114), were exposed. A few worn fragments of pottery vessels from the Byzantine period were found in the soil fill, including the rim of a cooking pot, dated to the fourth–fifth centuries CE, which is characteristic of the Western Galilee (Fig. 3:1). It seems that these are the remains of a quarry, which was filled in with soil in antiquity and converted for planting trees, after it was no longer in use. The fill was overlain with clayish accumulations mixed with thin-grained gray earth (L107, L109) that contained numerous pottery vessels, including a green-glazed bowl (Fig. 3:2), a greenish brown glazed casserole (Fig. 3:3) and a closed cooking pot (Fig. 3:4), dating to the thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE.
A building that belonged to the village of El-Bassa was constructed above these accumulations. Three of the building’s rooms were partially exposed: a northeastern room (L106; 2.5×3.2 m), probably a storeroom; a small section of a room in the southeast (L116) that was built in the Ottoman period and a western room (L104; min. dimensions 2×5 m), built in the first half of the twentieth century. The building’s walls survived a single course high and its foundations, built of roughly hewn stones and ashlars to a depth of five courses, were erected partly on the bedrock. The foundation of the eastern wall (W3), like the bottom course of the wall itself, was built of large soft limestone ashlars (0.35×0.40×0.60 m), between which a boulder (1×1 m) was incorporated. Beneath the tamped earth floor in Room 106 were two Ottoman coins, one of which was identified as that of Sultan ‘Abd Al-Hamid II (late nineteenth century CE), and a cache in the southwestern corner of the room, which contained three metal tools—two sickle-shaped knives and a small hoe (Fig. 4) that belonged to the residents of El-Bassa. Room 104 was added to the building in the first half of the twentieth century. An opening (width c. 0.55 m) breached in Wall 1 connected the room to the one on its east. Room 104 had a concrete floor and its walls, including the earliest W1, were coated with cement-plaster, whose pieces were discerned in the building collapse. Dozens of fallen ashlar stones, still arranged in courses, overlaid the floors of the rooms; soil mixed with pieces of concrete had accumulated in-between them. The manner in which the stones lay was indicative of collapse that resulted from deliberate destruction by mechanical equipment. Many tools and objects were recovered from the ruins including shoes, metal tools and fragments of modern glass vessels that showed the building had continued to exist until the 1960s, when the first inhabitants of Shelomi resided in the abandoned buildings of El-Bassa, until their demolition and prior to the construction of the new town.
Two Ottoman coins, perforated in their center for use as jewelry pendants, were found outside the building to the east (L112), as well as a rich assemblage of pottery vessels that was attributed to the Ottoman period and included tobacco pipes. Two groups of vessels that dated to the late nineteenth century CE stood out in the large number of imported glazed bowls in the assemblage; the first group consisted of bowls that originated in Çanakkale, Turkey and were characterized by a ledge rim and a yellow glaze with stripes (Fig. 3:5) or a white glaze with patches (Fig. 3:6); the second group came from northern Greece and was distinguished by a folded rim and a brown glaze with yellow spots (Fig. 3:7), as well as a ledge rim and a brown glaze with green spots (Fig. 3:8). Many types of porcelain bowls that originated in the Mediterranean basin were found, including a unique turquoise vessel adorned with a drawing of a white crescent (Fig. 3:9). The locally produced vessels, including a bowl painted black and red on the inside and out (Fig. 3:10), were part of the Rashaya al-Fukhar ware.
Area B (7.0×7.5 m; Figs. 5, 6). Chalk bedrock and a hewn ancient pit (2.2×2.5 m, depth c. 0.9 m) were exposed at the bottom of the excavation. Clay soil fill mixed with stone chips (L115) and a small amount of worn potsherds from the Byzantine period was found in the pit. It seems that this was the continuation of the quarry exposed in Area A. A rectangular room (L110; 5×6 m) was uncovered above the quarry. Its foundations (W4, W5, W6), set on top of bedrock, were built of fieldstones and ashlars to one–three courses high; the floor did not survive. A stone socket, which was incorporated in Wall 5 that was built of ashlar stones and roughly hewn stones in secondary use, indicated the entrance to the building that was not preserved. A small ceramic assemblage, similar in nature to the one from the end of the nineteenth century in Area A, was discovered outside the building (L103) and alongside the foundations of Wall 4. Scant collapse of building stones, as well as ashlars, was found in the building; including sundry objects that dated to the 1960s and indicated that this room was used by the first residents of Shelomi.
The excavation finds aid in understanding the geographic distribution of settlements in the area. This region constituted the western fringes of the settlement Bezet in the Roman and Byzantine periods, where peripheral activities, such as quarrying building stones and farming, were conducted. However, in the nineteenth century the settlement had expanded into this area and a residential neighborhood was built. Some of the buildings remained standing until the 1960s and were used by the first residents of Shelomi.