During 2006–2007, a study excavation was conducted at Horbat Bet She‘arim (Permit Nos. A-4762, A-5020; map ref. 21221–3/73409–11; Fig. 1). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Galilee Archaeological Education Center of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed Y. Tepper, with the assistance of I. Ktalav (area supervision), Y. Lavan (administration), A. Blumenkranz (surveying), A. Shapiro (GPS), Y. Gorin-Rosen (glass), E.J. Stern (pottery consultation), D.T. Ariel (numismatics), A. Babani-Shenk and N. Koren-Lawrence (Galilee Educational Center) and R. Weiss (Bet She‘arim National Park). School children from Qiryat Tiv‘on and their parents participated in the excavation.
The excavation was carried out c. 10 m east of the southern basilica building in Bet She‘arim. Previous excavations at the site revealed habitation levels that dated to the Mamluk and Ottoman periods (N. Avigad 1959. The Seventh Season of Excavations at Bet She‘arim, 1955 [Preliminary Overview]. Eretz Israel 5:171–188 [Hebrew]).
The surface was cleaned in two squares and habitation levels were exposed; these yielded finds dating to the Late Mamluk and Early Ottoman periods, including animal bones, fragments of pottery and glass vessels and coins. The numismatic finds from the Roman and Ottoman periods include a coin that probably dates to the reign of Trajan (98–117 CE; IAA 111926), a coin from the reign of Constantine I (341–346 CE; IAA 111922) and a silver Ottoman coin from the seventeenth century CE (IAA 111925). Four coins were found on the surface near the excavation: one is dated to the reign of Probus (276–282 CE; IAA 111928) and the others were dated to the Roman period (IAA 111921, 111924, 111927).
The finds suggest that a settlement existed on the hill of Bet She‘arim during the Roman, Mamluk and Early Ottoman periods.