In January 2016, a salvage excavation was conducted in the village of ʽIllut (Permit No. A-7866; map ref. 224524/736080), prior to the construction of a new residential building. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by E. Dalali-Amos (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Yaʽaqobi (administration), K. Covello-Paran (scientific guidance), M. Shemer (flint artifacts) and laborers from Kafr Manda.
The area was excavated to a maximum depth of 1.7 m, exposing hard, fractured limestone outcrops overlain with firm clay soil (Fig. 2). Several flint artifacts produced using Levallois technique (Fig. 3), characteristic of the Middle Paleolithic period (250,000–45,000 YBP), were discovered on the bedrock surface. These flint items are extremely abraded, and it therefore seems that they were not produced at the site but eroded here.
The excavation area was apparently located outside of ancient ʽIllut, on the fringes of an extensive area of hard, fractured limestone bedrock, used as a raw material in the production of flint tools in the Middle Paleolithic period. Parts of this limestone bedrock were also discovered in the excavations northeast of the current area.