During March 2009, a survey was conducted in Yoqne‘am ‘Illit (License No. S-84/2009; map ref. 21010–68/72856–90; Fig. 1), prior to construction. The survey, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Ministry of Construction and Housing, was directed by B. Hanna and F. Abu Zeidan, with the participation of V. Shlomi (probe trenches).
The survey area is located on a steep slope in the northern part of Ramot Menashe, within the precincts of the Khirbat Rujum el-Sakhina antiquities site(Map of Dalia , Site 56); a row of tumuli, a stone fence and pottery from Middle Bronze II and the Roman and Byzantine periods had been recorded at the site in the past. Remains dating to Middle Bronze II, Iron Age II and the Persian period were excavated c. 0.4 km north of the survey area (ESI 16:53–54). Horbat. Hanot Qira, which is c. 1 km east of the survey area, has a khan dating to the Ottoman period that was built over ancient remains that included buildings, caves, tombs, cisterns and potsherds from the Iron Age, the Roman, Byzantine and Early Islamic periods and the Middle Ages.
The entire area is covered with a layer of alluvium and tall dense vegetation is growing on most of it (Fig. 2). No new sites were identified in the survey, conducted on foot, and only a few worn potsherds dating to the Roman and Byzantine periods were found.
Thirty-six probe trenches (max. length 35 m, width 0.6 m, depth 1.1–1.8 m; Fig. 3) were excavated at intervals of 7–10 m for the entire length of the area. Each of the trenches contained an upper layer (thickness 0.5 m) of light brown soil that consisted of fieldstones and a few potsherds; an intermediate layer of packed, light gray soil with an abundance of gravel and small limestone pebbles; and limestone bedrock that was exposed at a depth of 0.7–1.5 m below the surface. No signs of archaeological remains were discovered in the trenches.