One square was opened (25 sq m; Fig. 2) and three strata were discovered: Stratum 1—collapse mixed with modern architectural remains; Stratum 2—remains of a building that dated to the Byzantine period (fourth–sixth centuries CE); and Stratum 3—fills from the Early Roman period.
Stratum 1 – Modern era
The remains of a building foundation from the early twentieth century CE were uncovered in a layer of collapse and accumulations. These are the remains of the property owner’s house that was recently demolished, prior to the construction of a new building. The foundations of the building damaged ancient remains, possibly Byzantine, so severely that it was difficult to distinguish the remains of the modern structure from the Byzantine-period remains.
Stratum 2 – Byzantine period
Two walls (W106, W109; Fig. 3), built of large carefully hewn indigenous stones, formed a corner of a building. Potsherds dating to the Byzantine period were discovered in the walls’ foundation trenches. A floor (L108) of tamped chalk mixed with soil and ash abutted the inside of the walls. Another floor (L104, L105; Fig. 3) was found outside the building, of a similar elevation and composition to Floor 108. A layer of soil with finds from the Roman period was discovered below the floors (below, Stratum 3).
Outside the walls was a layer of collapse that consisted of building stones and fieldstones mixed with an accumulation of potsherds and glass fragments, dating to the Byzantine period. Two wall stumps (L102, L103) built of two fieldstone courses were discovered below the collapse, near the northern and western sides of the excavation square. The context of the walls is unclear.
Numerous potsherds were found, mainly of vessels used in preparing and serving food, including an imported Cypriot Red Slip bowl (Fig. 4:1) and imported Late Roman Red Ware bowls (Fig. 4:2–5). This assemblage of imported vessels is dated from the late fourth to the early seventh centuries CE. In addition, a deep krater (Fig. 4:6), two frying pans (Fig. 4:7, 8) and a single jar (Fig. 4:9) were found.
Stratum 3 – Roman period
Brown soil containing fragments of pottery vessels from the Early Roman period was discovered beneath the Byzantine building. Pottery produced in local workshops was found; the types are characteristic of Kefar Hananya ware, including local cooking pots (Fig. 5:1, 2), lids (Fig. 5:3), a variety of jars (Fig. 5:4–6), a Herodian lamp (Fig. 5:7), as well as a fragment of a stone vessel (Fig. 5:8) and part of a stone mortar (Fig. 5:9).
Based on the excavation finds, the settlement at ‘Uzeir was established in the Roman period, and its inhabitants were evidently Jewish who only used locally produced pottery vessels and stone measuring cups. The settlement also continued in the Byzantine period. The artifacts that were ascribed to this period included fragments of imported pottery vessels, which might be indicative of a diverse population that also included non-Jewish residents. It seems that the site was already abandoned in the Late Byzantine period and its reoccupation occurred in the modern era, at the beginning of the twentieth century CE.