During June 2011, an archaeological survey was conducted in the Mētar Forest (License No. S-281/2011; map ref. 1932–57/5827–41), for the purpose of planting new trees. The survey, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Jewish National Fund, was directed by N.S. Paran and F. Sonntag, with the assistance of S. Gal (GPS).
The survey was carried out along the seam between the Judean Hills to the north and the Be’er Sheva‘ Valley to the south, which is characterized by moderate hills of limestone-qirton with wadi channels and accumulations of clay alluvium between them. The survey area (c. 1,500 dunams) was delimited by Highway 60 in the west, the separation fence in the north and a wadi channel that empties into Nahal Hevron in the southeast.
A single archaeological site was found in the entire survey area—an opening (diam. 0.6 m) of a round cistern hewn in qirton bedrock (map ref. 193781/583153). A large capstone was placed on top of the cistern’s opening and the size of the cistern’s interior is unknown. The cistern is located next to the main entrance to the forest and the Yattir Forest scenic road; the Jewish National Fund will conserve it when the entrance to the forest is developed.