During August–September 2001 an excavation was conducted at Na‘an (East) (Permit No. A-3490*; map ref. NIG 18795–6/64372–3; OIG 13795–6/14372–3) in the aftermath of damage to ancient remains caused by digging a trench for the laying of a gas pipeline. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the Oil Infrastructure Co. Inc., was directed by H. Tzion-Cinamon, assisted by R. Abu-Halaf (administration), V. Essman and V. Pirsky (surveying).
A segment of the aqueduct that conveyed water from Gezer to Ramla in the Umayyad period was discovered. The aqueduct is known from historical sources, from the British Survey of Palestine, as well as from recent excavations (see HA–ESI 117, Qanat Bint el Kafir).
The excavation took place in two sections on either side of the trench, which was bound by two pipes set at a distance of c. 1 m apart from each other. A c. 0.5 m long segment of the aqueduct (Fig. 1) was discovered in the eastern side of the trench. Another aqueduct segment in the western side of the trench was c. 1 m long (Fig. 2). Both segments (width of 1.1 m) were preserved a maximum of 0.65 m high. It appears that the walls of the aqueduct were constructed from undressed stones (0.2 m) bound with gray mortar, which contained remains of burnt organic material, essentially olive pits. The aqueduct’s segments were found ruined, apparently due to stone robbing and to the collapse of the water channel’s walls. Undressed building stones that apparently fell from the walls and were found within the channel caused the width of the channel to be irregular; the width in the eastern segment was 0.15 m and in the western segment––0.45 m wide. Remains of pinkish plaster that included small stones could be traced within the channel, mainly on its northern face. The channel contained potsherds from the Early Islamic period, which had apparently served as the foundation for the plaster layer.