Square A1 (Fig. 2). Most of the remains and finds were discovered in reddish brown soil at a depth of 0.8 m. Two sections of stone levels, oriented northwest-southeast, were exposed c. 1.5 m apart. The northern section (L110; 0.70×0.95 m, preserved height 0.25 m) was composed of two uneven courses, incorporating limestone and kurkar fieldstones. The southern section (L111; 0.33–0.70×1.10 m, preserved height 0.1 m) consisted of a single course of limestone and kurkar fieldstones, some of which were partially hewn; the northern side was composed of eight stones arranged in a straight row. Another small section of stones (L112; 0.35×0.40 m), whose foundation was identical to that of Section 111, was exposed between the two sections and east of them—c. 0.75 m north of Section 111 and c. 0.55 m south of Section 110. The sections were probably part of a floor foundation or a road that was not preserved; however, it is also possible that these were the foundations of an installation or a wall.
The few potsherds discovered between the remains dated from the transition phase between the Persian and Hellenistic periods to the Late Roman period (not drawn).
Square A8 (Fig. 3). Most of the remains and finds were discovered in brown to dark brown compact soil at a depth of c. 0.6 m. Remains of two parallel walls, aligned east–west, were exposed. The construction of the walls differed. The northern wall (W103; length 2.5m, width 0.7–1.0 m, preserved height 0.52 m) was built of two rows of medium-sized fieldstones with a core of smaller limestone and kurkar fieldstones. Large fieldstones (average size 0.13×0.20×0.34 m) were bonded in the western end of the wall. Although only three courses of the wall survived, a foundation that protrudes 0.3 m from the southern side of the wall and is built of small fieldstones hints at the wall’s strength. Four limestone and kurkar fieldstones courses (average size 0.19×0.19×0.22 m) survived from the southern wall (W104; length 1.2 m, width 0.80–1.07 m, preserved height 0.5 m). The upper course was built of fieldstones, which were partly hewn, and was enclosed on its western end by two large, roughly hewn flat fieldstones (0.09×0.21×0.31 m in the north; 0.09×0.33×0.41 m in the south). The two bottom courses on the western side were inset, forming an 80° angle with the two top courses; this was probably the springing of a vault.
The ceramic artifacts recovered from the square dated from the transition phase between the Persian and Hellenistic periods to the Late Roman period, and included kraters (Fig. 4:1, 2) dating to the Persian period, bowls (Fig. 4:3, 4) dating to the Early Roman period and a cooking pot (Fig. 4:5) from the beginning of the Roman period.
Part of an undecorated comb made of a bone, whose parts were connected by metal pins, was discovered in the northern balk of Sq A8 (preserved length c. 4.4 cm, width c. 1.5 cm; Fig. 5); both ends of the comb are broken. This is a two-row comb; broad widely spaced teeth are on one end, six teeth and the beginning of a seventh tooth were preserved, and fine dense teeth (for delousing?) are on the other end, fifteen teeth and the end of another tooth were preserved. At the base of the teeth, the tracks of the thin saw with which they were diagonally cut, are discerned. A straight line on both sides of the comb was marked before sawing the teeth to indicate how far the saw should proceed. Combs were usually made from a large flat bone, such as a scapula or pelvis, which enabled the preparation of an entire comb; sometimes, however, they were prepared from several bones, as in this instance.
Near the site, at Sarafand al-Harab in Nes Ziyyona, two bone combs dating to the Byzantine period were uncovered (‘Atiqot 46:44–45, Fig. 5:1–3). According to E. Ayalon, comparisons made of bone are known from Caesarea, where two combs whose date is unknown were found (Ayalon, E. 2005. The Assemblage of Bone and Ivory Artifacts from Caesarea Maritima, Israel [BAR Int..S. 1457], Oxford; pp. 47–48, Fig. 16:158), Jerusalem (Early Roman period; M. Ben-Dov. 1982. The Excavation at the Temple Mount, in the Shadow of Walls and in the Light of Discoveries. Jerusalem, p. 165) and Zippori (Roman–Byzantine periods; exhibited in the ‘En Dor Museum). Combs similar to these are being manufactured to date in Egypt and Syria. A variety of carved images are depicted on similar combs of ivory, known from Egypt (Lewis S. 1973. The Iconography of the Coptic Horseman in Byzantine Egypt. JARCE 10:27–64, Fig. 29).
The dating of the massive walls and the stone levels, based on the ceramic finds, ranges from the Persian and Hellenistic periods until the Late Roman period, and no later than the third century CE. The large distance between the squares and the limitation of the excavation did not allow presenting a complete picture of the site’s plan and character.