During July 2009, a survey was conducted at Asherat (License No. S-132/2009; map ref. 214937–5550/763857–4181), prior to enlarging the settlement. The survey, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Ministry of Construction and Housing and the Ampa Malibu Company, was directed by Y. Lerer, with the assistance of E. Stern (survey and field photography) and A. Shapiro (GPS).
The surveyed area consists of three bedrock terraces, descending from north to south and characterized by three soil and rock formations. The northern terrace is distinguished by limestone outcrops and the growing of bushes and shrubs. The middle terrace is covered by light grained alluvium and in recent years, it has been used for irrigated seasonal cultivation. The bottom terrace is represented by outcrops of hard limestone and precipitous sides that drop off toward a wadi channel, which separates the surveyed area from the northern slopes of Tel ‘Emeq (Fig. 1).
The area was documented in the Israel Archaeological Survey (Map of Nahariya-‘Amqa [4-5]).
Sixteen rock-hewn complexes were found on the upper terrace, including quarries (Sites 1, 2, 11; Fig. 2), caves (Sites 3, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13), a winepress (Site 4), pits (Sites 5, 6; Fig. 3) and tether installations (Sites 7, 8; Fig. 4).
Signs of rock cuttings (Site 14), a quarry (Site 15) and a hewn pit (Site 16) were documented on the bottom terrace.
The rock-hewn complexes identified on the upper and lower terraces are typical phenomena that occur along the fringes of settlement sites. The known settlement sites in the vicinity of these rock-cuttings are ‘Amqa to the north and the site of Bet Ha-‘Emeq (Ard el-Butani) to the south.
At this stage, it is not possible to date the documented complexes.