During December 2011, a trial excavation was conducted at Horbat Kalanit (Permit No. A-6361; map ref. 24444/75360), after ancient remains were exposed in a survey performed prior to widening Highway 65 (License No. S-95/2009). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Department of Public Works, was directed by U. Berger, with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration), R. Mishayev and M. Kahan (surveying and drafting), A. Shapiro (GPS) and H. Tahan-Rosen (pottery drawing).
The ruin extends across the top of a rocky hill where remains of walls and rock-hewn installations are visible (Fig. 1). The excavation was conducted along the eastern slopes of the hill, close to an artificial cliff created as a result of the development work that had previously been carried out and damaged the site. A agricultural terrace wall and large amounts of potsherds dating to Middle Bronze Age II and Roman period were uncovered.
An agricultural terrace retaining wall (W2; Fig. 2) that was built of different size fieldstones was exposed on the bedrock. The wall enclosed a farming terrace (width c. 10 m) containing a thick layer of soil (max. thickness 1 m). The wall and the terrace were part of a system of farming terraces that was built on the hill. A strip of ground (L4; width 1 m) was excavated next to the wall; it consisted of soil fill mixed with numerous potsherds. The ceramic finds in the fill were mostly mixed, dating to Middle Bronze Age II and the Middle and Late Roman period, although the finds in the bottom part of the fill mainly comprised large fragments of cooking pots (Fig. 3:1, 2) and jars (Fig. 3:3–6) from Middle Bronze Age II. The finds from the Roman period included a bowl (Fig. 3:7), a casserole (Fig. 3:8) and a cooking pot (Fig. 3:9). The terrace wall might have been built into a Middle Bronze Age habitation layer that has not yet been exposed. The ceramic finds from the Roman period show that the terrace wall did not predate the Late Roman period.
During the excavation, a fieldstone-built tomb, a rock-hewn cupmark and a treading surface of a winepress that was damaged by the work done while widening the road, were documented nearby.