Two parallel walls (W13, W16) one course high, built on an incline perpendicular to the slope and aligned north–south were exposed. The walls, set directly on the soil, were constructed from natural chalk stones and dressed blocks of nari, apparently in secondary use. They possibly served as terraces. Several pottery fragments found near the walls indicated that they should probably be dated to the beginning of the Early Islamic period (the middle of the seventh–middle of the eighth centuries CE). 


A layer of terra rosa soil (thickness 0.2 m) that contained a large amount of small stones, as well as numerous fragments of pottery vessels from the end of the Byzantine period (sixth–seventh centuries CE; L14) was uncovered c. 0.3 m below the walls and was not connected to them. This layer was exposed in the central and eastern parts of the excavation area and it overlaid another terra rosa layer (L15) devoid of ancient finds. This was the case with regard to two probes dug by mechanical equipment northeast and northwest of the excavation area; the probes yielded terra rosa soil on bedrock that was void of ancient finds. Unlike most of the sites from the Byzantine period, only a few fragments of glass vessels were found.


The Pottery

Dina Avshalom-Gorni


Seventy-nine rims of locally produced and imported vessels, dating to the Byzantine period, were counted. The pottery assemblage from this excavation is similar to the one discovered in the 1991 excavation. The local vessels, which constitute 34% of the finds, included cooking pots with plain everted rims and folded everted rims; frying pans with cut inverted rims and one frying pan fragment with an elongated handle, and a large group of barrel-shape jars, dating to the Umayyad period. The jars are well-fired and have (1) a flat, thickened rim and a short neck; (2) a folded everted rim with a rectangular cross-section, and (3) two rounded rims with a high neck. Jar lids with a rounded rim and an interior gutter were also present. The imported vessels constituted 66% of the finds and included imported red slipped bowls, which are divided into their different types according to Hayes’ classification:


CRS 2 CRS 11 CRS 7 LRC 10C LRC 3F LRC 3E Total
1 5 2 2 30 4 44

Basins with a flat everted rim, a triangular cross-section and an incised decoration on the rim were also found, as well as amphorae with a flat everted rim, produced of buff-colored clay that contained many small black inclusions.

The results of the pottery analysis reveal a remarkably large number of imported vessels, mainly bowls, in contrast to the few locally produced vessels, which are predominantly barrel-shaped jars. The overall majority of the finds is from the Byzantine period (sixth century and the beginning of the seventh century CE). Only three vessel fragments from the Early Islamic period were discovered, unlike the previous excavation, where these vessels were the dominant factor.


The layer of soil that contained the pottery fragments should probably be ascribed to the settlement phase from the Byzantine period. The area may have served as a refuse dump for the settlement, and was covered with soil after its use ended. In the Early Islamic period, two meager walls that may have functioned as terraces were built above it.