During April–May 2001 an excavation was conducted at Horbat Menorim (A-3400; map ref. NIG 2512/7401; OIG 2012/2401), prior to the placement of electrical lines. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the Cellcom corporation, was directed by K. Covello-Paran, with the participation of Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration), V. Essman and A. Hajian (surveying), H. Smithline (photography) and H. Tahan (drawing of finds).
Three excavation squares were opened, revealing three strata of architectural remains, dating to the Iron Age (St. I–II) and Early Bronze Age Ib (St. III). The Intermediate Bronze Age and Middle Bronze Age II were represented solely by pottery finds. Bedrock was reached in all of the excavated area.
Stratum III. This stratum was poorly preserved due to the building activities of St. II. A series of circular pillar bases and an accumulation directly above bedrock were associated with this stratum. The pottery finds were dated to EB IB and included ‘grainwash’ storage jars and rail-rim pithoi.
Stratum II. This was the best-preserved architectural stratum that consisted of a number of well-built architectural elements, stone collapse and accumula-tions (Fig. 1). Walls that were partly preserved to 1.1 m high and constructed directly above bedrock enclosed the northern room. In the eastern part of this room was an oval-shaped installation that had an internal partition; iron-blade fragments were found directly above bedrock inside the installation. The southern room had a smoothed stone floor, which served to level out the varying bedrock heights in this area.
Pottery finds were dated to Iron II and included ridged neck and short neck storage jars, triangular-rim cooking pots and Black on Red ware, as well as stone finds, such as basalt upper grinding-stone fragments.
Stratum I. Three walls, constructed from large local unworked basalt stones, were attributed to this stratum. These walls protruded above the modern surface and were, most likely, contemporary with additional standing walls all over the site; no associated floors were discovered with the walls. Considering that no post-Iron Age habitation has been found on the site, St. I was apparently a later phase within this period.