The current excavation was conducted on farmland that slopes gently from east to west. The topsoil was brown clay overlying hamra atop a layer of sand. Eight full squares (1–5, 7–9) and two half-squares (6, 10; Fig. 2) were excavated. The excavation was than expanded in order to reveal two water channels (L109, L110).
Squares 1, 2, 4, 6 and 10. These squares yielded only meager remains, mainly fill layers containing potsherds from the Early Islamic and Ottoman periods.
Square 3. A section of a channel (L109) was exposed; the channel was than excavated for its entire length (80 m; Fig. 3). It was built of cast concrete mixed with shells and was oriented east–west (outer width 0.4 m, inner width 0.25 m, average preserved height 0.17 m). A probe excavated in the channel revealed that it was constructed in two phases. In the first phase, the channel was cast and its floor was smoothed with an application of a thin layer of plaster on the concrete. In the second phase, the channel was raised with a new layer of concrete (thickness 7 cm) that was set on top of a one-centimeter thick layer of soil. The channel’s elevation was probably raised in order to extend while maintaining its gradient. The difference in elevation between the eastern and western ends of the channel’s floor was 1.32 m, and its inclination relative to its length was 0.95°. The moderate slope made it possible to control the flow of water and its conveyance to the secondary, lateral channels; only scant remains of these channels were found, including fragments of terracotta pipes at the connecting points between the channels. The head of a zoomorphic vessel (Fig. 4:4) from the Early Islamic period (eighth–tenth centuries CE) was discovered in the layer of fill inside the channel.
Square 5. A section of a channel (L110) was exposed; the excavation was than expanded beyond the limits of the square in order to trace its full extent (Fig. 5). The channel (length 10.5 m, outer width 0.45 m, inner width 0.25 m, height 0.14 m) was oriented along an east–west axis and was built of cast concrete and shells. Its floor was smoothed with a thin layer of plaster, as in the first phase of Channel 109. Lateral chutes (L120, L127, L128; length 0.45 m) were connected to Channel 110 at four-meter intervals, conveying water to a level about 0.2 m lower, where fruit trees or some other crop were apparently grown (Fig. 6). Fragments of terracotta pipes were found at the connections between Channel 110 and the lateral chutes. Intentional blockages consisting of small stones, pottery sherds and mortar were discovered in Chutes 127 and 128.
Square 7. A hearth (L113; 0.5 × 0.6 m, height 0.17 m; Fig. 7) built of fieldstones arranged in a semi-circle was discovered in the clay soil. Ash and burnt soil were found within the hearth and scattered around the installation within a radius of 1.5 m. An amorphous cluster of fieldstones with several pottery sherds from the Late Ottoman period was discovered to the north of the hearth.
Squares 8, 9. A north–south wall (W111; length 9.03 m, width 0.5 m, height 0.29 m; Fig. 8) built of small kurkar stones was discovered. The wall was probably the foundation of a water channel; scant remains of a concrete floor were found on it. While cleaning the top of the wall, a copper coin (IAA 817831) was found that had no clear connection to the wall. The issue, a ten para denomination, dates to the reign of the Ottoman Sultan ‘Abd al-Majid (1255–1277 AH/1839–1861 CE). Although the mint mark that appears on the coin is of Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, the stamping is imprecise; thus, the coin is probably an imitation. In the vicinity of the wall, several pottery sherds from the Early Islamic period (eighth–tenth centuries CE) were found along with an animal-powered “medium-type” plow (Avitsur 1976:19–29; Fig. 9), which cannot be dated with certainty.
The ceramic artifacts are ascribed to two periods. The Late Ottoman-periods finds include bowls (Fig 10:1, 2), a jar (Fig. 10:3), terracotta pipes (Fig. 10:4–8) and a tobacco pipe from the seventeenth–eighteenth centuries CE that was found on the surface (Fig. 10:9). The Early Islamic finds include bowls (Fig. 4:1, 2) and a jar (Fig 4:3).
The excavation supplements our knowledge concerning the western agricultural areas of the village of Sarafand el-Kharab. Long, constructed irrigation channels were exposed which branched off into short lateral chutes that conveyed water to shallow irrigation channels dug in the ground, and from there to small holes in which trees were planted (pers. comm. from long-time residents of Nes Ziyyona). Two construction phases ascribed to the Late Ottoman period and the time of the British Mandate were identified in the channels. Activity from the Early Islamic period was identified in the hamra beneath the level of the channels. It is possible that the area served farmland at this time, as was surmised following an excavation conducted nearby (Golan 2008).