During July 2010, a salvage excavation was conducted in Modi‘in (Permit No. A-5941; map ref. 199007-65/645957-6018), in the wake of widening Road 12, in its northern part. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Ministry of Housing and Construction, was directed by R. Shellef, with the assistance of E. Bachar (administration), M. Kunin (surveying), A. Peretz (field photography), and A. Gorzalczany (guidance).
The excavation was carried out in the Shimshoni quarter, in the western outskirts of the city of Modi‘in.Numerous archaeological excavations and surveys had previously been conducted in the vicinity prior to the development of the city; dozens of agricultural installations, terraces, farmsteads, rock-cuttings and tombs that ranged in date from the Hellenistic to the Ottoman periods were exposed. A survey of Horbat Barfiliya, which is located near the current excavation and extends across c. 26 dunams, documented antiquities that included village remains from the Ottoman period, underground cavities, ancient buildings and potsherd scatterings, dating to the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods (Permit No. A-5021). A site with Neolithic flint quarries that was recently excavated (Permit No. A-5814) is located to the south of the current excavation.
Three farming terraces, built in a wadi that descends gently to the northwest, were examined (Fig. 1). The southern (W1; Figs. 2, 3) and northern (W3; Figs. 3, 4) terraces were built of large fieldstones (0.2–1.0 m) and were preserved two courses high. The stone collapse alongside these walls indicates that the terraces probably had a third course that has since fallen. The middle terrace (W2) was built of extremely large fieldstones (0.8–1.8 m) and was preserved a single course high.
Five squares were opened next to the farming terraces and it turned out that they were founded on a layer of small fieldstones set on bedrock. Two spouts and a rim fragment of a jar, dating to the Ottoman and Byzantine periods respectively, were retrieved from the excavation next to Terrace 2; however, these are insufficient for dating the construction of the terrace.
Although the dating of the three terraces is unclear, they join dozens of other terraces that are located in their proximity; in all likelihood, all were connected to the early or late settlement at Horbat Barfiliya.