Three areas (4–6) were opened on bedrock outcrops, which were isolated by quarrying activities. Area 4 was a bedrock section with unclear hollowed elements; Area 5 included rock-hewn cupmarks and Area 6 consisted of a limekiln filled with field clearance stones.
All the elements uncovered after removing the black earth that overlaid bedrock were natural, either crevices or circular holes due to erosion. No ancient finds were found.
The area consisted of an elongated, roughly triangular bedrock outcrop, oriented northwest-southeast, with two, possibly three cupmarks on the northwestern edge, not covered with earth (Fig. 1; top elevation 285.40–285.48 m). Signs of erosion and breakage were noted along the bedrock sides.
The largest cupmark (L5001; Fig. 2) was circular (diam c. 0.57 m), shallow (depth c. 0.04 m) and connected to what looked like an irregularly cut shallow channel (length 0.75 m) that apparently conveyed liquid from the cupmark southward, to the edge of bedrock. Another irregularly cut, small and shallow cupmark (L5003; 0.12 × 0.17 m) to the west of L5001, was also connected to a short, irregularly cut channel that led to the same bedrock edge, 0.4 m to the west. The edge had a straight angle, suggesting it may have been the remains of a square or rectilinear vat (preserved length 0.33 m to the east, 0.4 m to the north) that was partly cracked and eroded away (Fig. 3). A third circular, round and shallow cupmark (L5002; diam. c. 0.16 m, depth 0.03 m) was located to the northeast of L5001. It was also connected to an apparently irregularly cut and shallow channel, leading to bedrock edge in the northwest, in opposite direction to both previous channels. This could suggest that L5002 was used separately from the other two cupmarks. However, the channels, as well as L5003 appear to be the result of erosion, rather than man-made (E.C.M. van den Brink, pers. comm.). This may explain why each channel was directed toward the bedrock edge, following the slope. The cupmarks could not be dated due to the absence of archaeological finds.
Probing the soil that surrounded the bedrock yielded no ancient finds.
A large depression on surface, covered with field clearance stones, some small and some huge boulders in which many modern gun bullets were mixed (L603; 286.00–285.13 m; Figs. 4, 5), was found. It was suggested that this may have been a limekiln, on the basis of a similar feature, recently excavated in the area of Modi‘in (Permit No. A-5297). Removing most of the stones revealed the top of the limekiln’s pit; it was excavated together with three probe trenches to its south (L604, L605, L607), north (L609, L611) and west (L610).
The trench to the south (elevation 286.19–284.78 m; Fig. 6) revealed huge boulders above the edge of the pit and some smaller stones, lime and red burnt earth, deeper all around. The wall of the limekiln pit was not well defined here. The trench to the north was longer and displayed the link between the surrounding surface and the quarried pit, in which part of the limekiln wall was uncovered (elevation 286.64–285.38 m; Fig. 7). At the edge of the pit, the earth and a group of small rounded stones were red, attesting to the high temperature during the firing in the kiln. At the top of the pit’s wall was a lining of lime, overlaid with some big rounded lime stones. Half a handle of a bag-shaped jar, roughly dating to the Hellenistic–Roman periods, was found in the upper fill of L609 (Fig. 8).
An additional trench (0.7 × 4.3), oriented northwest-southeast, was dug to the east of the pit, in an attempt to find out if some aligned boulders visible on surface could be part of a built wall. The stones turned out to be protruding bedrock blocks.
Within the limekiln, below the field clearance stones, was a lining of rounded lime stones that covered the upper southeastern half of the pit (L608; 285.13–284.54; Fig. 9), which was also found in the trench to the north. A large quantity of lime was found in the pit, at a lower level. A narrow probe was cut at the bottom of the lime in search of wood for the fuel (L612). Ashes and charcoal were found (elevation 284.54–283.33), as well as some branches that had retained their shape.
To the west of the pit, another shallow depression was visible on surface and partly explored. A mixture of earth and lime with some bigger stones (L610) was below the field clearance stones. The location of the depression can not be explained, although it could have been some ventilation venue that was annexed to the pit.