During May 2011, a trial excavation was conducted at the site of Trigonometric Point 968 west of Yoqne‘am ‘Illit (Permit No. A-6189; map ref. 20721–99/72667–738), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Ministry of Construction and Housing, was directed by G.B. Jaffe, with the assistance of R. Liran (area supervision and surveying), Y. Ya‘aqobi and H. ‘Iz-Aladin (administration) and A. Shapiro (GPS).
A tumulus that appears to be ancient was surveyed at the site (J. Olami. 1981. Map of Dalia , Site 54) and several other points, thought to be antiquities, were identified in its vicinity
). Two terraces were excavated on the slope east of the tumulus. The base of one of the terraces was exposed, overlaying fragments of pottery vessels from the Roman and Byzantine periods (Permit No. A-6157).
Four areas (A–D; Fig. 1) were opened in the current excavation.
Area A (Fig. 2). One square was excavated in the middle of the tumulus surveyed by Olami and another two and one half squares were opened nearby. Only a natural bedrock surface that descends down the slope in a southwesterly direction was exposed.
Area B (Fig. 3). Two half squares were opened south of and parallel to the trial trenches that were dug in this area. Soft limestone bedrock was revealed beneath an accumulation (thickness 0.3 m).
Area C (Fig. 4). One and one half squares were excavated down to the level of the bedrock (depth 0.2 m).
Area D (Fig. 5). A square was excavated where a farming terrace was thought to be in a wadi that runs between Areas A and C; it turns out this was an agricultural fence that was built on the surface.
Several fragments of pottery vessels dating to the Late Roman and Byzantine periods (not drawn) were found in the accumulations excavated in Areas B and C and beneath the fence in Area D. Small potsherds that could not be identified with certainty were found in one of the squares in Area A, alongside the tumulus; it seems that they too date to these periods.
Similar finds were also discovered in the previous excavation at the site. It seems that these are the remains of some agricultural activity, whose nature and extent cannot be determined.