A salvage excavation was conducted in January 2000 at the 'Buchman Compound' in Modi‘in (Permit No. A-3191*; map ref. NIG 20085–105/64365–70; OIG 15085–105/14365–70), in the wake of a preliminary survey conducted by T. Kanias and R. Mordechay, prior to development works at the site. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the ‘Solomon Building and Development Co. Ltd.’, was directed by I. Korenfeld, with the assistance of A. Hajian and S. Pirsky (surveying and drafting).
The Winepress (Fig. 1) consisted of a treading surface (L100; 2.43 × 3.00 m) with a hewn recess in the floor, next to its northern wall, which was probably used to anchor the press screw. A rock-cut channel led from the treading surface to a collecting vat (L104; c. 1 × 1 m, depth c. 0.5 m), which had a shallow depression (diam. 0.3 m, depth 0.15 m) cut in its floor. The ceramic finds included potsherds from the Byzantine period.
Ancient Road (Fig. 2). A section of an ancient road, oriented east–west (length c. 65 m, width c. 3 m) was discovered. It was demarcated on either side by walls (W102, W103) built of large fieldstones (0.50 × 0.75 m) that protruded some 0.35 cm above the road level. A probe, extending the entire width of the road, was excavated between the walls, revealing the road bedding (L106) that was composed of small stones. Several non-diagnostic pottery fragments were found.
The Field Tower (Fig. 3) is located c. 10 m northeast of the ancient road. The circular tower (diam. c. 5 m) was built of large roughly worked fieldstones (0.7 × 1.0 m) that were set on bedrock and were mostly preserved two courses high. Rock cuttings and chiseling discerned in bedrock probably meant to stabilize the tower’s base. A water cistern with a square mouth (L111; 1 × 1 m, depth c. 1 m) was hewn in the limestone bedrock at the center of the tower. Water drained into the cistern by way of natural depressions in bedrock and a channel hewn in its northeastern wall. The cistern was bell-shaped (depth c. 2 m) and filled with alluvium and limestone, including a few ribbed pottery fragments that probably date to the Byzantine period, as well as several animal bones and burnt organic matter.
A Stone Clearance Heap that has an elliptical contour (5 × 7 m, height 0.5 m) was located next to the northeastern side of the field tower. It was outlined by large fieldstones (0.5 × 1.0 m) and a trench excavated across it yielded several non-diagnostic potsherds.
Cupmarks. Some 10 cupmarks of various sizes were scattered throughout the excavation area. Three of them were cleaned (diam. 0.34 m, 0.38 m and 0.45 m respectively) and found devoid of ancient finds.