One square was opened (Fig. 2). After removing a level of medium and large stones (L100), a wall (W100; length 4.8 m, width 0.8 m, preserved height 0.7 m) oriented north–south was exposed. The wall, preserved four courses high, was built of dry construction and founded on the bedrock. Two walls (W101, W102) abutted W100 from the east. Three circular silos (A1–A3; Fig. 3), built of fieldstones without mortar, were revealed west of W100. Silo A1 (diam. 1 m, depth 0.8 m), adjacent to W100, survived three courses high and was founded on leveled bedrock (L103); Silo A2 (diam. 1.1 m, depth 1 m) survived four courses high and was founded on the bedrock (L104); and Silo A3 (diam. 1 m, depth 0.3 m) survived a single course high and was founded on the bedrock.
Two squares (2, 3; Fig. 4) were opened c. 70 m southeast of Area A.
Square 2. After removing a level of stones (L200; not marked on plan), two sections of walls (W200, W201), built of medium and large fieldstones in dry construction and founded on the bedrock, were revealed. Wall 200 (length 4.3 m, width 0.7 m, preserved height 0.5 m; Fig. 5), aligned east–west, had survived to four courses high. The bottom end of the wall in the east was built of a long flat stone (0.1×0.5×1.0 m), upon which large stones with a smooth surface were positioned; this was probably an entrance to a building. Wall 201 formed a corner with W200 and survived to a single course high. A semicircular installation (B1; diam. 0.7 m, depth 0.7 m) was exposed close to the southeastern end of W200.
Square 3. After removing a level of stones (L250), three sections of walls (W300–W302; Fig. 6) were exposed, built of large fieldstones in dry construction. Wall 300 (length 2.3 m, width 0.5 m, preserved height 0.8 m) was aligned east–west axis and survived to three courses high. Wall 301 (length 1.1 m, preserved height 0.5 m) was oriented north–south and survived to a single course high; its eastern part was located beyond the limits of the excavation. Wall 302 (length 1.8 m, width 0.4 m, preserved height 0.3 m) was oriented north–south and survived to a single course high. A column built of three stone courses was exposed north of W300, and a circular silo (B2; diam. 0.7 m, depth 0.3 m) was uncovered to its south.
Two squares (4, 5; Fig. 7) were opened c. 20 m southeast of Square 3.
Square 4. After removing a level of stones (L300), two sections of parallel walls (W400, W401), oriented east–west, were exposed. Wall 400 (min. length 1.7 m, width 0.7 m, preserved height 0.7 m) was built of large fieldstones without mortar and survived two courses high. East of W400 was Wall 401 (length 2.4 m, preserved height 0.7 m), built of medium and large fieldstones in dry construction, which survived to three courses high. A level (L304) that included ceramic finds, animal bones and a basalt vessel fragment was exposed in the space between the walls, which seems to be a passageway between two buildings. A circular silo (C1; diam. 0.7 m, depth 0.7 m; Fig. 8) was revealed south of W400.
Square 5. Upon removing a deep layer of stones (L351; not marked on plan), stones arranged in a semicircle, whose nature is unclear at this stage, were exposed.
All the rim fragments, bases and unique sherds were saved from the assemblage discovered in the excavation. The rim fragments were counted and this count served as the basis for the quantitative information presented below.
The ceramic assemblage is domestic in nature and includes bowls, baking trays, cooking pots, jars, pithoi and a whorl. The overwhelming majority of the assemblage dates to Iron Age IIA.
Bowls (Fig. 9). Thirty-three bowls of several types were found, constituting c. 9.6% of the total assemblage. Comparisons of bowls with a plain inverted rim (Fig. 9:1–4) were found at many Phoenician sites over a long period of time (eleventh–eighth centuries BCE; Lehmann G. 2002. Pottery: Iron Age. In A. Kempinski. Tel Kabri: The 1986-1993 Excavation Seasons [Tel Aviv University, Institute of Archaeology, Monograph Series 20]. Tel Aviv. Pp. 178–222, Fig 5.69:1). No comparisons for the bowls with an everted rim (Fig. 9:5, 6) were found. Analogies for the carinated bowls with a flat ledge rim (Fig. 9:7–11) were found in Strata IIa-IIb at Horbat Rosh Zayit, which is dated to the tenth–ninth centuries BCE (IAA Reports 8:34, Type B I). Comparisons of burnished bowls with an upright rim and a black stripe around the exterior and interior of the rim (Fig. 9:12) were found in Stratum E4 at Tel Kabri, dating to the ninth century BCE (Lehman 2002:181, Fig. 5.69: 2, 3). A small carinated bowl with a beveled rim (Fig. 9:13) has an analogy from Strata IIa-IIb at Horbat Rosh Zayit (IAA Reports 8:35, Type B II). No comparison for a small bowl with a flared rim (Fig. 9:14) was found. A comparison for a flat bowl with a rim that slopes downward and out (Fig. 9: 15) was found in Stratum E4 at Tel Kabri (Lehmann 2002:181, Fig. 5.69:8).
Baking Trays (Fig. 10). Three fragments of baking trays that constitute c. 0.9% of the assemblage were found. All belong to the same type of convex tray with a grooved rim. The interior of the rim is smooth and the top is grooved to ensure the heat is evenly distributed. Comparisons of this baking tray type were found in Stratum IIa at Horbat Rosh Zayit, which the excavators dated to 920–880 BCE (IAA Reports 8:67, Fig. III.93:7).
Cooking Pots (Fig. 11). One hundred forty-eight cooking pots were found, constituting 43% of the total pottery assemblage. Only fragments of cooking pot rims were found; on two of the rims (Fig. 11:4, 5), the connection to the body of the vessel was identified and it seems it was carinated. All of the rims have a triangular cross-section, which is typical of cooking pots from the beginning of the Iron Age, and they are characterized by various finishes. All the cooking pot rims have comparisons in Horbat Rosh Zayit. The excavators of the site think that the presence of a variety of cooking pot rim types in Strata IIa-IIb shows they were all used at the same time (IAA Reports 8:40).
Jars (Fig. 12). One hundred fifty-four jars of several types, which constitute c. 44.8% of the total pottery finds, were found. The jars with a short neck (Fig. 12:1–12) have comparisons in Strata IIa-IIb at Horbat Rosh Zayit (IAA Reports 8:48–50, Type SJ II). Jars with no neck (Fig. 12:13, 14) have parallels in Strata IIa-IIb at Horbat Rosh Zayit (IAA Reports 8:53–54, Type HM I). Parallels of jars with a ridged neck (Fig. 12:15–17) were found in Strata IIa-IIb at Horbat Rosh Zayit (IAA Report 8:48, Type SJ Ib). One rim of a jar with a ridged neck, made of pale green metallic fabric (Fig. 12:18) was found; similar jars are referred to in the literature as “hippo” jars. Comparisons for this jar were mostly found in Stratum IIa at Horbat Rosh Zayit (IAA Reports 8:44–48).
Pithoi (Fig. 13). Six rims belonging to several types of pithoi were found; they constitute 1.7% of the total pottery assemblage. A pithos with an elliptical rim and a ridge below it (Fig. 13:1) of the type known as a Galilean pithos (IAA Report 14:56, Type 27); a pithos with a curved rim (Fig. 13:2) that combines the features of a Galilean pithos with those of a Tyrian pithos (IAA Reports 14:57, Type 29); and other pithoi (Fig. 13:3–6), for which no comparisons were found. According to R. Frankel, the Galilean and Tyrian types of pithoi, which mostly occur in Iron Age I, also continue to appear in the following periods (IAA Reports 14:57).
In addition, a ceramic whorl (Fig. 13:7) that was carelessly made, probably for secondary use, was found.
A settlement site that includes buildings, silos and installations was revealed in the excavation. The site’s source of water was probably a spring known as Rahaz Well, located c. 250 m to the south. An analysis of the ceramic finds and their parallels to nearby sites makes it possible to date the settlement to the tenth–ninth centuries BCE.
A site dating to Iron Age I was excavated c. 3.5 km southwest of Horbat Rahaz, next to Karmi’el. According to the excavators of the site, the only silo found in their excavation shows that that settlement was engaged in agriculture and existed at the time of transition from nomadism to a permanent settlement (Gal Z., Shalem D., and Hartal M. 2007. An Iron Age Site at Karmiel, Lower Galilee. In S.W. Crawford, A. Ben-Tor, J.P. Dessel, W.G. Dever, A. Mazar and J. Aviram, eds. Up to the Gates of Ekron: Essays on the Archaeology and History of the Eastern Mediterranean in Honor of Seymour Gitin. Jerusalem. Pp. 119–134). The multitude of silos found at Horbat Rahaz makes it possible to reconstruct a site that is different in nature than the one from Karmi’el; it seems that a permanent site engaged in agriculture, whose surplus produce was stored in jars and silos, existed at Horbat Rahaz. The hippo jars at Horbat Rahaz allows us to date more accurately the rural settlement at the site to the late tenth–early ninth centuries BCE (Alexandre Y. 1995. The 'Hippo' Jar and Other Storage Jars at Horbat Rosh Zayit. Tel Aviv 22/1:77–88), and hints at a connection between it and the administrative center at Horbat Rosh Zayit.