In February 2014, a salvage excavation was conducted in the village of el-Makr (Permit No. A-7037; map ref. 213219–27/759929–38), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by R. Abu Raya (photography), with assistance from Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration), A. Shapiro (GPS), R. Mishayev and M. Cohen (surveying and drafting), E. Stern and W. Atrash (scientific guidance) and H. Tahan-Rosen (pottery drawing).
An ashlar quarry and remains of a building constructed above it (Figs. 1–4) were exposed. Four quarrying steps were identified in the quarry (depth c. 1.5 m). Two severance channels (width c. 0.1 m) were revealed on the upper and lower levels. Two soil layers were discovered in the quarry. The upper layer (L104; thickness c. 0.5 m) consisted of black soil and several ashlars (dimensions of the largest stone: 0.3 × 0.3 × 0.4 m), while the lower layer (L107; thickness c. 1 m) included brown soil, stone chips and small stones. Pottery sherds characteristic of the western Galilee in the Late Byzantine (late sixth – early seventh centuries CE) and the Umayyad period (seventh – early eighth centuries CE) were discovered in both of the layers. The ceramic finds ascribed to the Byzantine period include bowls imported from Phocaea in Anatolia (Fig. 5:1–3) and locally produced vessels, among them hand-made kraters (Fig. 5:4), cooking pots (Fig. 5:5) and a jar from the southern coastal plain (Fig. 5:6). The ceramic finds dating to the Umayyad period include several pottery sherds of locally manufactured pottery vessels, among them a jug (Fig. 5:7) and two jar rims (Fig. 5:8, 9).
The building constructed above the quarry included two abutting walls (W1, W2). Wall 1 was built of very large ashlars and was oriented in an east–west direction on the upper quarrying step. Wall 2 was built of two rows of stones aligned in a north–south direction above the layer of soil in the quarry; the outer face of the wall was built of ashlars while its inner face consisted of fieldstones and roughly hewn stones. The wall was preserved to a maximum height of two courses. The ceramic artifacts discovered in the foundation trenches of the walls and in the soil accumulations inside the building were similar to those found in the soil layers in the quarry.
The ceramic finds suggest that the quarry functioned during the Byzantine period, after which it went out of use and was intentionally filled with soil. A building was erected above it in the Umayyad period. The location of the building outside the settlement and the absence of floors inside it seem to suggest that it functioned in an agricultural context.