Area A (Fig. 1)
A large potter’s kiln (5.0 × 7.5 m) was exposed in the four excavation squares. The kiln was preserved almost in its entirety (over 1.5 m high) and consisted of two parts, wherein two phases were noted. The southern part (L90) had two stories that included an upper cell, where vessels were fired, preserved fragments of the floor and the lower combustion chamber that was entirely preserved. The northern part of the kiln was a service room (L82), through which fuel was fed into the combustion chamber. The kiln was built of limestone and its interior was apparently lined with mud bricks. Alongside the interior walls were four or five flues, above which the firing chamber’s floor was set. It was composed of fired mud-brick slabs with small square apertures, via which the hot air flowed from the combustion chamber into the firing zone. One slab was preserved next to the eastern wall. The kiln diminished in its second phase after the eastern wall collapsed and Wall 21was rebuilt. In the northern wall (W1) of the small service room was an intact opening (height 1.5 m) that had a pointed arch at its top. The opening may have served as an air passage or used for another kiln (the area north of the kiln was beyond the limits of the excavation).
A level that may have been a refuse pit (thickness 0.3–0.4 m) was uncovered in the area south of the kiln. It contained numerous small stones and fragments of pottery vessels, some were large. Judging by the ceramic finds recovered from the kiln and the surrounding area, the use of the installation should be dated to the end of the Byzantine–beginning of the Early Islamic periods (sixth–seventh centuries CE).
Area B (Fig. 2)
Five strata were discerned; Stratum I was modern and Stratum II dated to the Ottoman period.
Stratum V. Several walls of a structure, whose plan could not be reconstructed, were excavated in the northern part of the area. The walls were built of large roughly hewn stones without bonding materials. The remains of a single stone pavement of wadi pebbles (L209) were discovered below the wall (W6) of a later structure from Stratum III. The topography of the area required leveling prior to the construction of the building; hence, the southern and central parts were built on top of fills and the northern part was constructed atop natural soil. The finds recovered from the fills, surrounding the walls, and from above and below the stone pavement indicate that the structure was built at the beginning of the Hellenistic period and remained in use until the end of that era (fourth–second centuries BCE).
Stratum IV. A bathhouse occupied the northern part of the building from Stratum V. It was built atop a thick white foundation (thickness over 0.5 m) of large river pebbles and small fieldstones, joined together with whitish bonding material. Its mud-brick walls used pinkish-white bonding material. The bathhouse consisted of two or three rooms. The southern and eastern rooms, which were probably a single ‘L’-shaped room, contained fired mud-brick colonnettes incorporated with roof tiles. The fill around the colonnettes, as well as above and within the floor foundation, yielded finds dating to the Byzantine period. Although the orientation of the bathhouse was similar to that of the Stratum V building, no connection was found between the two.
Stratum III. A building, whose walls (W2, W4–7, W9–12, W15, W23, W26) were differently oriented than those of the earlier buildings, was revealed. The building comprised a row of rooms that extended over a distance of c. 40 m. The walls (average width 1 m) were preserved to their foundation height and were erected at various depths (0.2–1.6 m) on natural soil. To the south of W12, the walls were constructed from fieldstones (0.2–0.3 m), with a fill of small stones and bonding material between the courses. Medium and large fieldstones composed the walls in the northern part of the area. The entrance to the building, survived only by the stone doorjambs, was probably in the center of the exterior western wall (W2, W5). A plaster floor (L202) that abutted the northern side of W4 and two stone surfaces (L31, L32) that abutted W15a on the east and W23 on the north were preserved. The row of rooms was probably the western wing of a very large structure, whose eastern part was beyond the limits of the excavation. The structure was difficult to date for several reasons: (1) its walls were founded on natural soil without foundation trenches, (2) The floors were exposed close to surface, and (3) No datable finds were recovered from below the floors. Judging by the latest finds in the accumulations within the building, it should be dated to the end of the Byzantine period–beginning of the Early Islamic period (sixth–seventh centuries CE).