During May 2011, an excavation was conducted along the western fringes of Horbat Mishkena (Permit No. A-6081; map ref. 238001—553/742063–309), prior to the construction of the Golani junction interchange. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by A. Mokary, with the assistance of R. Mishayev and M. Kahan (surveying), W. Atrash (guidance), H. Tahan-Rosen (pottery drawing) and laborers from Nazareth.
Three sets of installations hewn in the limestone bedrock were excavated (1–3; Fig. 1):
Installations 1, 2 (Fig. 2). A rock-hewn winepress that consists of a square treading floor (L10; 3.15×3.42 m, depth c. 0.3 m) and a rectangular collecting vat (L11; 1.42×1.82 m, depth 1.63 m) to its east. Remains of hydraulic plaster were noted on the sides of the vat. Five small steps were located in the southwestern corner of the collecting vat and a circular sump (diam. 0.5 m, depth 0.5 m) was hewn in the vat’s northern corner. An attempt at hewing a collecting vat, prior to quarrying Collecting Vat 11, were noted 1 m east of collecting Vat 11; the attempt failed after breaching an ancient cistern (L12). Pottery dating to the Roman and Byzantine periods was collected from the treading floor and the collecting vat. The cistern was elliptical (max. width 3.4 m, depth 4.25 m) and its floor was uneven due to a block of dolomite in its center. The dolomite, which hampered the quarrying of the cistern, was coated with smoothed hydraulic plaster. A few potsherds collected from the cistern indicate it was last used in the Roman and Byzantine periods.
Installation 3 (Fig. 3). A small rock-hewn winepress was discovered c. 300 m east of Installations 1 and 2, It consisted of a treading floor (L14; 1.17×1.37 m, depth 0.2 m) and a circular collecting vat (L15; diam. 0.82 m, depth 0.92 m). The installation should probably be dated to the Roman and Byzantine periods.
Installation 4 (Fig. 3). A rock-cut, bell-shaped cistern (diam. at base 2.46 m, diam. at opening 1.8 m, depth 2.6 m) was discovered c. 7 m east of Installation 3. Four chisels that were originally spikes used on the Hejaz Railway and two modern hoes were found in the cistern. The width of the quarrying marks on the sides of the cistern match the width of the chisel edges. These artifacts date the cistern to the time of the British Mandate.
The two winepresses are dated to the Roman and Byzantine periods, based on the discovered meager ceramic finds. The cistern near the winepress in Installation 1 predated it, although it was last used in the Roman and Byzantine periods. The bell-shaped cistern (Installation 4) next to Winepress 3 is a modern agricultural cistern.