During February–March 2004 a salvage excavation was conducted northwest of Kh. Midya (License No. B-285/2004; map ref. NIG 200141–550/649682–650050; OIG 150141–550/149682–150050), preceding the construction of the separation fence. The excavation, on behalf of the Sonya and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University and sponsored by the Ministry of Defense, was directed by Y. Paz and A. Nativ, with the assistance of S. Divon (area supervision) and D. Porotzki (surveying and drafting).
The excavation took place along the fringes of a gentle limestone spur, the top of which is occupied by a village. To evaluate the extension of the remains, mechanical equipment was utilized during the excavation, across an area of 120 dunams. The excavation was suspended at the bequest of the project’s sponsor; consequently, the information gained from the excavation is incomplete. Twenty five squares and eight installations were excavated (Fig. 1). An architectural complex from Early Bronze IB was exposed in two squares (B1/a, B1/b) at the southwestern end of the area; the rest of the squares contained mixed ceramic finds, without any clear context, mostly dating to the Chalcolithic, Early Bronze, Middle Bronze and Byzantine periods.
The Early Bronze IB complex included two parallel walls preserved to a maximum of two courses high. The walls, oriented north–south, were founded directly on bedrock. Whether the two walls were part of the same structure, or belonged to two adjacent structures, is unclear. An irregular layer of stones above the floor of the complex was apparently a collapse. Numerous fragments of pottery vessels overlaid the floor and the base of a complete jar was embedded into it, close to W714 (Fig. 2).
Random concentrations of mixed ceramics above bedrock and a variety of installations and rock cuttings were found in the other excavation areas, including seven shafts, four cave openings, a single winepress and three hewn installations of unclear nature.
One shaft (L112) was completely excavated. It was rock-hewn (diam. 1 m, depth 1.5 m) and led into a bell-shaped cistern (1.2 x 1.5 m; depth c. 2.5 m). Two other shafts were not fully excavated (L512––diam. c. 0.9 m, excavated depth c. 1.7 m; L513––diam. c. 0.7 m, excavated depth 1.5 m). Mixed ceramic finds were collected from each of the shafts, probably deriving from the alluvium that was swept into them.
One of the four cave entries (L514; diam. c. 1.2 m), which apparently led to a subterranean chamber, was excavated.
The excavations revealed that Kh. Midya was the focus of activity primarily in the Chalcolithic, Early Bronze I, Middle Bronze and the Byzantine periods. However, other than the building remains from EB IB that resemble dwellings, we are unable to define the human activity at the site during the other periods.