In July and September 2011, a trial excavation was conducted near Nahal Yarmut (Permit No. A-6239; map ref. 199237/623970), prior to the construction of a bridge. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Ministry of Construction and Housing, was directed by R. Greenwald, with the assistance of N. Nahama (administration), A. Hajian and M. Kunin (surveying and drafting), A. Peretz (photography) and I. Lidski-Reznikov (drawing of finds). N. German inspected the site and prepared it for excavation.
Six excavation squares were opened at the foot of the northern bank of Nahal Yarmut, opposite a confluence with a stream that continues north (Fig. 1). A rectangular building (4 × 5 m; Figs. 2, 3) with three walls (W9–W11) was exposed. Wall 9 (length 4.1 m) was built of two enormous stones (0.9 × 1.8 m, height 1.1 m; 0.8 × 2.2 m, height 1.3 m) placed on bedrock. A soil fill (L102, L107) mixed with pottery sherds dating to the eighth–seventh centuries BCE was discovered north of the wall. Wall 10 consisted of a single row of medium-sized, roughly hewn stones preserved to a height of one course (0.5 m). All that survived of W11 was a stone foundation that was set inside a rock-hewn foundation trench. Remains of a flagstone floor (L103, L141) were preserved in the northern and center parts of the structure. The floor did not abut the walls; however, its elevation corresponded to that of the bases of Walls 9 and 10. Another wall (W12; length 2.3 m, width 1 m), built of two rows of stones, was revealed west of W9. A round, fieldstone-built installation (L129; diam. 1 m, height 0.2 m) was incorporated into the top of W12, next to W9. A jug handle (Fig. 4:23) dating to the eighth–seventh centuries BCE was the only artifact discovered in the installation. Wall 12 supported an occupation level (L121; L126) discovered northwest of the building. The level made use of a bedrock surface; cracks in bedrock were filled with small stones. All of the ceramic artifacts discovered in the excavation date to the Iron Age II (eighth–seventh centuries BCE). Bowls (Fig. 4:1–10), cooking pots (Fig. 4:11–14), jars (Fig. 4:15–20) and jugs (Fig. 21–23) were found throughout the excavation area. Wheel-burnished bowls (Fig. 5:1–9) and kraters (Fig. 5:10–12) typical of the period, as well as cooking pots (Fig. 5:13, 14), jars (Fig. 5:15, 16) and jugs (Fig. 5:17, 18), were discovered in the soil fill north of W9 (L102, L107). These vessels, typical of household assemblages, indicate that the building was probably a domestic structure. Since there is no other evidence of contemporary construction nearby, it seems that the building was a farmhouse.