During April 2002 a salvage excavation was conducted at the site of Nahal Kelekh (Permit No. A-3604*; map ref. NIG 18633–45/59414–20; OIG 13633–45/09414–20), in the wake of a development survey. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the Ministry of Defense, was directed by G. Seriy, with the assistance of V. Essman and V. Pirsky (surveying and drafting) and H. Lavi (administration).
Two buildings (Areas A and C) and a wall segment (Area B), dating to the Byzantine period, were exposed.
Area A (Fig. 1). Remains of a building’s square room (L101; 2.8 × 3.0 m) were uncovered on a moderate slope, descending southward. Its walls (W10, W11, W12, W13), constructed from one row of large roughly hewn stones (width c. 0.4 m), were preserved one–two courses high. Only the eastern side of the southern W10 was preserved, while the entrance to the building was probably set in its western side. The walls were built directly above bedrock that apparently served as the floor of the room, which was devoid of finds, yet a stone collapse was in its northwestern corner.
Area B (Fig. 2) was on the same slope, c. 15 m west of Area A. A section of a wall (W20; 0.5 × 3.0 m), oriented north–south and preserved a single course high, was exposed. The wall consisted of two rows of roughly hewn stones, founded on bedrock. The collapsed stones to the east of the wall indicate that it originally stood c. 1 m high.
Area C (Fig. 3), located at the top of the hill c. 30 m northwest of Area B, comprised the remains of another square building (2 × 2 m). Its walls (W30, W31, W32) were built of large roughly hewn stones (c. 0.5 m wide) and preserved one course high. The walls were founded on top of a flat bedrock surface that may have served as the floor. The entrance to the building was probably from the south. Several body fragments of baggy-shaped jars, characteristic of the Byzantine period, were recovered from the fill in the building (L301).
It seems the two buildings were used for storing tools or as watchman’s huts, while the partially exposed wall in Area B was a fence that delimited two cultivation plots. Although a few datable finds were discovered, the site can probably be attributed to the agricultural hinterland of Horbat Moran, c. 1.5 km south of the site, during the Byzantine period.