During November–December 2003 a survey was conducted at Horbat Sher (License No. G-58/03; map ref. NIG 19315/64915; OIG 14315/14915). The survey, on behalf of The Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology of the Hebrew Union College, was directed by Y. Gadot, with the participation of young adults from the trekking club of the Society for the Preservation of Nature in Israel.
Along the northern and northwestern slopes of the site remains of an ancient road, which connected Horbat Sher to Khirbat Umm el-‘Umdan to the east, were found. The road was bordered by two rows of parallel fieldstones. Two other road segments, one to the south of Horbat Sher and the other at the top of the hill can be discerned in aerial photographs of the area.
On the hill to the east of the settlement, several enclosures delineated by stone fences, were found; they contained various ancient installations. Most of the area is dominated by a rectangular enclosure (c. 100 × 230 m) surrounded with a stone fence. Adjacent to the northern side of the compound were seven other smaller rectangular enclosures (average size 50 × 120 m). Rock-cuttings and dozens of cairns, heaped up over bedrock outcroppings, were documented inside the enclosures. The size and shape of the cairns were irregular. Some rose to a considerable height and consisted of stones that were laid meticulously, so as to prevent collapse. Other heaps were random and without order. Four watchman’s towers were built of dry stone construction, with an ascending flight of stairs (Fig. 3). A stone hut that was preserved to the height of the door lintel was also noted. Other ruined buildings were probably buried below the cairns.
Four caves were discerned within the precinct of the enclosures; two caves had hewn entryways and the other two––natural openings. Small stone walls were built in front of the caves in preparation for human activity. Other hewn and natural caves, as well as numerous signs of rock-cuttings were observed along the northern, eastern and southern slopes.
Agricultural installations, including nine winepresses and six water cisterns were scattered across the entire hill. Terrace walls, standing higher than one course, were discerned on the western slope.
The survey results show that the main dwelling area was on the western saddle, next to a small streambed. The hilltop to the east and its western slope were primarily used for agricultural activities. Rock-cut installations on other parts of the hill may have served the residents of the surrounding settlements, such as Kh. Umm el-‘Umdan to the northeast or Horbat Bet Shanna to the southwest.