During October 2004, a salvage excavation was conducted north of the Dabayib et-Tuwal antiquities site,southeast of Qibbuz Hamadiya (Permit No. A-4274; map ref. 24920–27/71300–13), after ancient remains were damaged when a water line was installed.The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Meqorot Company, was directed by W. Atrash (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration), T. Meltsen (surveying), D. Sandhouse (pottery reading) and H. Tahan-Rosen (pottery drawing).
An agricultural installation and a water reservoir from the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods had previously been exposed at the site (HA-ESI 121
). It seems that the farming settlement at Dabayib et-Tuwal was situated east of the tell and along a stream channel that crosses the area from west to east.
A square was excavated east of the Bet She‘an–Zemah road and part of a probable agricultural installation, dating to the Late Roman period (third–fourth centuries CE), was exposed.
The eastern half of an installation, whose outer shape was rectangular and inner shape was circular (inner diam. 3.5 m; Fig. 1), was excavated. The inner and outer walls of the installation (W201, W204, width 1.7 m) were built of basalt fieldstones with a core of debesh with small basalt stones bonded with gray soil (L202). The walls were founded on a tamped layer of sterile hamra and continued beyond the boundaries of the excavation. The floor of the installation (L203) consisted of crushed travertine and was set on a foundation of small basalt stones and brown soil (L205; Fig. 2). The floor bed (thickness 0.3 m) was founded on sterile hamra and contained a few potsherds from the Roman period. The floor of the installation was covered with a layer of light brown soil that contained potsherds from the Late Roman period.
The pottery assemblage recovered from the excavation is dated to the Hellenistic, Roman and Late Roman periods. A few potsherds from the Hellenistic period (second century BCE) were found, including a cooking pot that has an everted neck and a plain rim (Fig. 3:1) and an Eastern Terra Sigillata type bowl with an everted rim (Fig. 3:2). The vessels ascribed to the Roman period include a Galilean cooking pot with an inner ridge (Fig. 3:3), classified as Kefar Hananya, Type 4A. Other vessels, characteristic of the Galilee and dating to the fourth century CE, included a cooking krater and lid (Fig. 3:4, 5), a cooking pot without a neck that has an outward folded rim with a ridge (Fig. 3:6) and a jar with an everted neck and a plain rim (Fig. 3:7).
Although the architectural finds are meager, it seems that this is the remains of a farming tower. The construction of the installation and its use are dated to the Late Roman period (third–fourth centuries CE), based on the pottery finds.