During October 2010, a trial excavation was conducted at Moshav Ha-Bonim (Permit No. A-6014; map ref. 19406–10/72706–10), prior to the installation of an electric line. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Israel Electric company, was directed by L. Talmi, with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), M. Kahan (surveying), H. Ben-Ari (GPS), A. Peretz (field photography), A. Oshri (preliminary inspections), N. Zak (drafting), E.J. Stern (pottery reading), M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing), Y. Gorin-Rosen (glass), C. Amit (studio photography), N. Raban (archaeozoology), A. Gorzalczany (guidance), C. Sa‘id (IAA Haifa District) and laborers from Umm el-Fahm.
Moshav Ha-Bonim was founded on the remains of an ancient village, known as Kafr Lamm in the Ottoman period. This name was probably a misreading of the Crusader name Kafer Lia. Finds dating to the Chalcolithic period and from the Persian to the Ottoman periods had been exposed in previous excavations at the site (HA-ESI 122).
The current excavation was conducted within the precincts of the moshav, c. 50 m west of the fortress (Fig. 1). Two areas (A, B; Fig. 2) were opened, each consisting of a single square. Two installations hewn in the kurkar bedrock were exposed in Area A and a stone wall that was probably the remains of a dwelling from the Ottoman period was uncovered in Area B.
Area A. A cupmark and an installation for extracting liquids were hewn in kurkar bedrock. The cupmark (L104; diam. 0.25 m, depth 0.2 m; Fig. 3) was surrounded by natural fissures (L106, L109) that were deliberately filled-in with small fieldstones (max. length 0.1 m). The extraction installation (L118; min. dimensions 3.5 x 4.5 m) included a circular collecting vat (0.6 x 0.9 m) that was hewn in two phases. A sump (diam. 0.24 m) was cut in its center and an opening for collecting the liquid was discerned in its western side. The pottery recovered from the fill in Fissures 106 and 109 included a Gaza-type jar (Fig. 4:1), dating to the Byzantine period (sixth–seventh centuries CE), a base fragment of a glazed bowl decorated with slip and painting and imported from Greece (Fig. 4:3) and a jar of light colored clay (Fig. 4:4), dating to the Ottoman period (nineteenth–twentieth centuries CE).
Area B. A wall (W300; min. length 1.5 m; Fig. 5), built of ashlars placed on bedrock and aligned northeast-southwest, was exposed. Collapse of kurkar ashlars (average size 0.24 x 0.26 x 0.35 m) in three rows was exposed in the hamra fill overlying the wall (L113) and parallel to it. These were probably remains of this wall, which was destroyed during modern infrastructure work.
The ceramic finds discovered close to the wall dated to the Ottoman period and included a fragment of a Çanakkale-type bowl (Fig. 4:2), a jar of light colored clay adorned with a combed design (Fig. 4:5) and a spout of a Gaza-type jug (Fig. 4:6). A fragment of a glass bracelet (Fig. 6) dating to the Ottoman period and sheep and goat bones bearing signs of butchering were found in the fill alongside the collapse (L114, L121).