During October 2007, a salvage excavation was conducted in Lot 305 on the southern hill of Moshav Kerem Maharal (Permit No. A-5267; map ref. 199203–231/727474–501), prior to construction (Fig. 1). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by Ayala and David Havron, was directed by M. Masarwa (field photography), with the assistance of S. Ya‘aqov-Jam (administration), R. Mishayev (surveying) and P. Gendelman (pottery consultation).
Previous excavations at the site exposed remains that were ascribed to the Epi-Palaeolithic period (HA-ESI 120), as well as remains that ranged in date from the Roman to the Ottoman periods (HA-ESI 121, HA-ESI 122, HA-ESI 122).
The ancient remains were traced with the aid of mechanical equipment at the beginning of the excavation. Two areas (A, B; Fig. 2) were opened and mostly rock-hewn installations without any datable finds were discovered.
A bell-shaped cistern (L506; min. depth 1.6 m, diam. of opening c. 0.7 m; Fig. 3) was exposed; it was coated with fine quality, light gray hydraulic plaster. The fill in the cistern comprised alluvium, different size stones and modern debris; it was not completely excavated to the bottom due to safety precautions.
Two rock-hewn channels (L502, L503; length 4–5 m, depth 0.2 m; see Fig. 3) led to the cistern from the south and east. They sloped toward the cistern opening and were probably intended to convey rainwater into the installation. A circular basin (diam. 0.7 m, depth 0.2 m) that was probably meant for storing the water was revealed at the end of the southern channel. A hewn cupmark (diam. 0.3 m, depth 0.25 m) was exposed just south of the eastern channel.
A cavity in the bedrock that is probably natural (L501; length 5 m, width 1–2 m, depth 3 m; Fig. 4) was exposed; it was covered with a layer of alluvium that contained modern debris. A cupmark and two rock-cuttings in the bedrock (L505) were revealed west and north of the cavity. The rock-cuttings were most likely used for quarrying building stones.
Rock-hewn installations were found in the excavation. A meager amount of worn potsherds that dated to the Byzantine and Ottoman periods were found on the surface. These remains join finds from nearby excavations, which indicate that the area was most likely an industrial region used by the local residents in antiquity.