The excavation area, situated at the Bareqet Pond, east of Road 444 and south of the Bareqet Quarry road, extends over a broad hill (c. 1000 dunams; 150–200 m asl) east of the Lod Valley. A survey of this hill and its vicinity identified settlement remains dated from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A to the time of the British Mandate, including two main sites, one commonly called Tel Bareqet (Khirbat Burnat [northwest]; Gofna and Beit-Arieh 1997: Site 65) and the other—Khirbat Burnat (Gofna and Beit-Arieh 1997: Site 67). A fortified city from the Early Bronze Age II, strategically overlooking the Lod Valley, was uncovered at Tel Bareqet. An excavation in its lower city revealed a fortification system, which includes a wall with towers and residential quarters with orderly planned streets, as well as rich assemblages of pottery, copper tools and weapons, stone tools, such as grinding and crushing tools, flint tools, including a trove of Cananean blades, and beads—all attesting to the importance of this EB II city (Paz and Paz 2008). The excavation also yielded flint axes from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (Rosenberg and Gorman-Yaroslavski 2005). An excavation in the upper city, on the hilltop, uncovered a fortification system and a residential quarter (Y. Paz and S. Paz, pers. comm.). Also discovered were hundreds of cupmarks and flint tools from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (R. Shimelmitz, pers. comm.). Khirbat Burnat was built in the eastern part of the lower city and on its northeastern slopes. During the Persian and Hellenistic periods, it comprised a farmhouse, and later, during the Second Temple period, a Jewish village was established at the site. From the Byzantine period to our time, the area was used for burial, farming and lime production (Torgë 2002; Volynsky 2006; Zelinger 2006; ‘Ad 2007; Elisha 2008; Amit, Torgë and Gendelman 2009; Bouchenino 2010).

Two excavation areas were opened (A, B; Fig. 2) on the northern and western slopes of Tel Bareqet. Remains from the Late Epipaleolithic (Natufian culture; 13,000–9,500 BCE) and the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (9,500–8,500 BCE), as well as from the Hellenistic, Roman and British Mandate periods were excavated and documented.

Area A
In this area, on the western slopes of the tell, were four rock terraces. A guard tower (A1) was excavated, as well as the wall of an agriculture terrace (A2) and remains of a road (A3). Quarries (A4–A6) were documented, as were cupmarks (A7, A9) and rock-cut tombs (A8, A10).
Tower (A1) is round (diam. 5 m; Figs. 3, 4) and built of large dressed stones on a rock terrace (W101; size of stones 0.5 × 0.5 × 0.7 m); its western part survived to a height of two courses (c. 1 m). The rock terrace served as the lower course of the southeastern part of the tower. Twenty-seven stones found in a heap west of the structure indicate that it was four courses high (height 2 m). The outer face at the base of the lower course bore remains of plaster (Fig. 5), which had apparently been applied to prevent surface runoff from penetrating the building. A wall consisting of two large stones (W122) was built inside the tower; it may have served as a lookout platform. At a later stage, a partition wall was built of small fieldstones (W110) abutting W122 and dividing the tower into two spaces. An accumulation of light brown soil was found in the tower; it contained a roller (Fig. 6), a grinding stone (Fig. 7), sherds, a few animal bones and fragments of plaster. On the floor of the tower were potsherds, particularly of jars and cooking pots from the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods, while the potsherds under the tower’s bedding were from the Persian period (see below). East of the tower were two walls (W111, W121). Wall 111 was built of one row of small fieldstones set on bedrock. Wall 121 was built of two rows of fieldstones set on an accumulation of soil similar to that discovered in the tower, and it cuts and post-dates W111.
Agricultural terrace wall (A2). A wall (length at least 10 m; Fig. 8) was founded directly on the rock at the end of a rock terrace (height c. 122 m asl). It was built of two rows of medium-size field stones (0.3 × 0.3 × 0.4 m) and survived to a height of two courses (height c. 0.5 m). An accumulation of brown-red soil found on the terrace, to the east of the wall, contained small stones and sherds from the Early Roman period (first century BCE–first century CE).
Remains of a road (A3). The road (estimated width c. 4 m), running along the edge of a rock terrace (c. 117 m asl), was flanked by two parallel walls (W301, W314). Between the walls, c. 0.15 m below the surface, was a fill of gravel and broken stones, which was laid on soil containing small stones and sherds from the Early Roman period. Wall 301 (Fig. 9), which delineated the road on the northwest, was built of medium-size stones, which were set in a natural depression in the rock. It comprised an inner wall that served as the curb abutting the road’s fill, and an outer retaining wall (W302). Between the inner wall and the retaining wall was a fill of medium-size and small stones, containing sherds from the Early Roman period. Wall 314, which delineated the road on the southeast, lay beyond the boundaries of the excavation; its location was nevertheless deduced based on three stones that were found on the surface. The pottery sherds date the road to the Early Roman period, although it may have been used in later periods as well.
Quarries (A4–A6). Three quarries were discovered on a rock terraces in the northern part of the excavation area. Quarries A4 and A6 showed signs of drilling for dynamite blasting, dating them to the British Mandate period. Quarry A5 (Fig. 10) was cut at a right angle, a technique typical of the Second Temple period.
Cupmarks (A7, A9). A cluster of at least seven shallow cupmarks (A7; average diam. 0.12 m; Fig. 11) belongs typologically to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A; dozens of similar clusters have been discovered in previous excavations on the tell. A single, undated cupmark (A9; diam. c. 4 m; Fig. 12) was also found.
Rock-cut tombs (A8, A10). To the south of the excavation area was an ornate tomb, whose façade bore carved decorations characteristic of the Second Temple period (A8; Fig. 13). Another tomb, apparently a cist tomb from the Byzantine period (A10; Fig. 14), was discovered outside the boundaries of the excavation area.
Area B
Area B was opened on the northern slopes of the tell, which are steeper than the western slopes, where Area A was located. A trench yielded numerous flint items (B1) and a quarry (B2). In addition, cupmarks (B3), stratified flint in the rock (B4), a limekiln (B5) and quarries (B6–B7) were documented.
Flint items (B1). Numerous flint items were found in trial trenches opened prior to the excavation on the northern slopes of the tell. Consequently, a long and narrow strip (B1; length c. 50 m, width 1 m; Fig. 15), crossing four rock terraces, was excavated c. 50 m north of the upper city wall. The numerous flint items it yielded include tools, cores and debitage from the end of the Epipaleolithic period (Natufian culture), the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and the Early Bronze Age (see below). No in situ living surface was found, suggesting that most of the flint items originated from the top of the tell.
Quarries (B2, B6, B7). All three quarries had remains of drilling for dynamite blasting (Fig. 16), indicating that they were in use during the British Mandate period. In Quarry B2 were a few finds that had washed down from the tell.
Cupmarks (B3). Six deep cupmarks (max. depth 0.5 m) from the end of the Epipaleolithic (Natufian culture), first discovered in an earlier excavation (Bouchenino 2010), were uncovered c. 30 m north of Quarry B2. 
Stratified flint in rock (B4). Small flint nodules, reddish brown in color (Fig. 17), were discovered in the rock outcrops on the northern slopes of the tell. This type of flint is identical to the that of the bladelets discovered in Trench B1 (see below).
Limekiln (B5). A large limekiln (height c. 15 m; Fig. 18) from the British Mandate period was found. It comprised one large and deep round firebox.
Pottery finds
The sherds found in Tower A1 and on Road A3 were dated to several periods; no in situ vessels were found, and none of the vessels could be restored. Sherds from the Persian period (sixth–fourth centuries BCE) were discovered under the bedding of the tower, abutting the walls flanking the road and on the road. These include mortarium rims (Fig. 19:1), kraters (Fig. 19:2), jars (Fig. 19:3, 4) and jug handles (Fig. 19:5, 6). A few sherds from the Hellenistic period (fourth–third centuries BCE), including a cooking pot (Fig. 19:9), jar rims (Fig. 19:7.8) and a juglet base (Fig. 19:10), were found in the tower. Sherds from the Early Roman period (first century BCE–first century CE) were found near the tower and beside the road bedding. These include jug rims and handles (Fig. 20:1–3) and a jug (Fig. 20:4). A few sherds from the Byzantine period (seventh–eighth centuries CE), mainly jar handles (Fig. 20:5, 6), were found beside road.
Flint objects
Numerous flint objects (n=3,879; Table 1) were uncovered in Trench B1. They were made of Mishash Formation flint, mostly covered with patina and worn, an indication that they were not discovered in situ. The assemblage includes an ad hoc flake industry, a bladelet industry, items made on blades and bifacial tools, as well as numerous chunks, chips and primary items—all indicating that the knapping took place at the site, not far from where the items were found.
Table 1.Flint items
Primary items
Core debitage
Burin debitage
Bifacial debitage
Total debitage
One hundred and fourteen cores (average length 3 cm, average width 2.3 cm; Table 2), mainly bladelet cores (Fig. 21:1–3), were discovered, attesting to a bladelet industry. Also found were small, irregularly shaped flake cores (Fig. 21:4), which attest to an ad-hoc flake industry. Of the complete cores, 74% has a single striking surface, 16% had two perpendicular striking surfaces, and 10% had two opposing striking surfaces. Most of the small cores were discarded after they fully utilized. Fifty-four percent of the cores exhibit knapping mistakes that led to their disposal, attesting to the low quality of the raw material and to a strategy of maximized utilization of the cores.
Table 2. Cores
Core fragment
Core flakes
Bladelet cores
Nodules with flaking
The tools (Table 3) belong mainly to the ad-hoc flake industry, and include mostly notches (Fig. 22:1), dentates and retouched flakes (Fig. 22:2). Tools were also discovered belonging to the blade industry, including retouched blades and end-scrapers. Microliths were also uncovered (Fig. 22:3–10) dating from the end of the Epipaleolithic (Natufian culture). In addition, ‘formal’ tools were discovered from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A, among them axes (Fig. 23:1, 2), debitage from the renewal of the cutting edge of an ax (Fig. 23:3), bifacial tools, most of which were broken, and a few sickle blades (Fig. 23:4, 5), perhaps dated to the Early Bronze Age (Fig. 23).
Table 3. Tools
Retouched flakes
Retouched blades
Denticulates and notches
End scrapers
Massive side scrapers
Bifacial tools
Sickle blades
Remains from several periods were uncovered on the western and northern slopes of Tel Bareqet.The finds from the Epipaleolithic and the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A include flint items (from Trench B1) and cupmarks (B3, B7). Clusters of cupmarks were discovered at the top of the tell and on its northern and western slopes. Rock outcrops bearing numerous cupmarks dated to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A were uncovered in the past in the upper city (R. Shimelmitz, pers. comm.). It seems that the sites from these periods are situated at the top of the tell, between the cupmark-bearing rock outcrops and where the wall of the upper city was built. The flint objects found in Trench B1 were not in situ, and appear to have slid down from the top of the tell, perhaps during the construction of the wall during the Early Bronze Age. Cupmarks from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A have been discovered at sites in the Shephelah, such as at Zur Natan and Modi‘in (Marder et al. 2007). These were apparently seasonal sites, where axes were produced from local flint, and grain was processed in cupmarks. The finds from the Hellenistic and Roman periods, discovered mainly on the western slopes of the tell, attest to agricultural activity. This area may have been the agricultural hinterland of the settlement at Khirbat Burnat. The western slopes of the tell cannot be seen from Khirbat Burnat, which was apparently the reason for constructing Tower A1 at that point. The tower seems to have provided a vantage point over the Road A3 to the west of the tell. Quarries (A4, A6, B2, B6, B7) and a limekiln (B5) from the British Mandate period were also found. Increased rock-cutting during this period may have been associated with the construction of the airport at Lod. It is possible that the quarries provided the raw material for the limekiln.