Area A

Four squares were opened (Fig. 2) for the purpose of documenting the damage to the antiquities. Despite the serious destruction, remains of walls built of roughly dressed medium-sized stones (c. 0.25 × 0.40 m) and a section of a limestone floor (Fig. 3) were discovered. Levels of stone collapse that had penetrated into the light brown layers of alluvium, as far down as the natural bedrock, were also documented.

An analysis of the ceramic finds from Area A has not yet been completed, but the remains probably date to Middle Bronze II.


Area B

This area was unaffected by the earthmoving work and remains were exposed in close proximity to the surface. Twenty-eight squares (Fig. 4) were opened and three construction phases (III, IIA, IIB), ascribed to Middle Bronze II and the Late Bronze Age (?; Phase I) were exposed.


Phase III. Rock-cuttings were discovered in the bedrock, as well as fills in bedrock hollows, which were probably deposited to form a smooth surface prior to constructing the building in Phase II (Fig. 5). This phase yielded meager remains and worn potsherds that date to MB II.


Phase II. Remains of a well-preserved building were discovered across most of the surface in Area B. Five of the building’s rooms were completely uncovered, as well as sections of other rooms and part of a courtyard. Raised levels and blocked openings discovered during the course of the excavation indicated that the building had two phases of construction (IIB, IIA), both dating to Middle Bronze II.

The walls of the rooms (height c. 0.4 m; Fig. 6) were built of medium-sized, roughly hewn stones (length c. 0.4 m). The floors consisted mostly of crushed white chalk. Broken pottery vessels were exposed on the floors and some of the rooms yielded ceramic loom weights, which are usually associated with weaving (Fig. 7).

To the northeast of the rooms was the building’s courtyard. It had a rectangular shape (c. 15 sq m; Fig. 8) and contained ovens and installations, as well as basalt crushing and grinding vessels used in processing agricultural produce. A raised working surface built of small stones was in the western corner of the courtyard.

Installations were discovered in the rooms and the courtyard, including silos for storing agricultural produce, some of which were rock-hewn (Fig. 9) and others built. One of the silos was especially large and well-built (diam. c. 1.2 m, depth 2 m; Fig. 10); it was apparently constructed in the second phase of the building (IIA).


Phase I. A wide wall (length c. 22 m, width 1.2 m; Fig. 11), aligned northwest-southeast, was exposed. It was built of very large, partially hewn boulders and preserved a single course high. The two faces of the wall, with a core of fieldstones, were preserved at its northwestern end, whereas the rest of the wall survived by only the southwestern face (width 0.5 m). The wall continued to the northwest, beyond the limit of the excavation. It was clarified during the excavation that the wall postdated the building ascribed to Phase II, as it was founded on the structure’s floor and had cut it in several places. The massive wall was probably a city wall, enclosing a later settlement, perhaps dating to the Late Bronze Age, which was built on the ruins of the building from Phase II. Tombs from this period were discovered on the western side of the tell.