A winepress or bodeda for extracting oil, which was hewn in nari, was exposed on the southern slope of a hill (Figs. 2, 3). The installation consisted of a pressing surface (L1; 1.35×1.75 m, depth 0.15) and a small collecting vat (L7; upper diam. 0.6 m) with a sump (diam. 0.3, depth 0.26 m) cut in its base. East of the vat was a channel (length 3.8 m, width 0.1 m) and three small cupmarks (diam. 0.2–0.3 m).
Six adjacent remains were excavated on the northern slope of a hill.
Winepress (Figs. 4, 5). A rock-hewn winepress was exposed at the bottom of the slope. It included an asymmetric treading floor (L8; 2.30×2.45 m, depth 0.19 m), connected by two small openings (0.22×0.40 m) to a rectangular collecting vat (L9; 0.80×1.95 m, depth 0.57 m). A small sump (diam. c. 0.3 m) was located at the bottom of the collecting vat. The fill inside the winepress (L13, L18) contained several potsherds, of which only those from Iron Age II could be dated (not drawn).
Columbarium. The columbarium was rock-hewn. Its opening was rectangular and led to a circular cavity. The floor of the installation was not excavated. The few potsherds that could be dated were attributed to Iron Age II.
Wall. Two small meager sections of a wall were exposed in a square (4×5 m) opened c. 5 m from the columbarium; several potsherds that could not be dated were found.
Cupmarks and Terraces (Fig. 6). Sections of two or three terraces (W101–W103) built of medium and large fieldstones were exposed east of the winepress. A pair of cupmarks was exposed next to the terraces; the eastern cupmark (L10; diam. 0.65 m, depth 0.33 m) was connected by a channel to the western cupmark (L15; diam. 0.5 m, depth 0.26 m). A rim of a jug that dated to the Hellenistic or Early Roman period was found in the soil that covered the cupmarks (not drawn).
Columbarium (Fig. 7). The columbarium was covered to a height above its opening with tamped brown soil fill that contained several chalk stones (L21; min. depth 4 m) and its floor was not exposed. The columbarium was hewn in the bedrock, having the shape of a cross. A square opening (L29; 1.85×1.85 m) was set in the center of the cross, which led to four niches (length 3.5 m, width 1.9–2.3 m); only the northern one was exposed for its entire length (L27). Round recesses (diam. 0.2 m, depth 0.2 m) were hewn in the eastern and northern sides of Niche 27. In the upper part of the eastern (L28), western (L43) and southern (L37) niches the rock-cutting was completed with roughly hewn chalk stone construction (Fig. 8). Seven asymmetric rows of recesses were exposed in Niche 28: in the two upper tiers of the side of the niche were different size square and rectangular recesses (0.23×0.23×0.23 m in the southern side; 0.22×0.30×0.32 m in the northern side), whereas in the lower part the recesses were round and of various sizes (0.18×0.18×0.19 m–0.22×0.23×0.27 m). The finds mainly included pottery fragments from Iron Age II (not drawn) that were probably swept into the installation after it was no longer in use. Fragments of a Bet Natif oil lamp dating to the Late Roman–Early Byzantine period (Fig. 9), which might indicate the latest use of the installation, were found inside Niche 28. However, no architectural remains or other finds from these periods, which might corroborate this supposition, were found near the columbarium. There is the possibility that the columbarium was hewn in Iron Age II and the rectangular niches were cut in the Late Roman–Early Byzantine periods; but in all likelihood, the installation was hewn and used only in a period that postdated Iron Age II.
Building (Fig. 10). A building composed of a forecourt and seven rooms was excavated at the southeastern end of the area. The walls of the building, which survived three courses high, were of different size limestone, ranging from small fieldstones to boulders. The wall foundations were built on soil fill. Fragments of pottery vessels dating to Iron Age IIC, a stone vessel and a metal plow were found in the building.
Winepress (Fig. 11). A rock-hewn winepress was exposed on the eastern slope of the spur. The installation consisted of a treading floor (L16; 2.2×2.4 m) connected by a round perforation in its northern side to a rectangular collecting vat (L17; 0.57×1.35 m, depth 0.57 m). A cavity (diam. 0.6 m, depth 0.26 m) was hewn in the floor.
Cupmark (Fig. 12). A cupmark (L19; diam. 0.54 m, depth 0.29 m) was hewn in the southern part of the area; several agricultural fences were discerned around.
Limekiln. A large limekiln (diam. 4.3 m, min. depth 4 m) hewn in chalk bedrock on the slope of the spur was exposed at the northern end of the area. Inside the kiln was an accumulation of soil and stone collapse from the installation (L25), overlying a level that included lime, ash and debris, consisting of melted chunks and stones that were not completely burnt (L64). Two walls (W104, W122) that served as a base for the limekiln’s dome were exposed in the southwest. They were built of fieldstones and medium and large roughly hewn limestone (0.20×0.30×0.45 m–0.41×0.46×0.74 m). In the western side of the kiln was a hewn channel (L63; length c. 4.75 m, width 0.35–0.50 m; Fig. 13), enclosed by two walls (W120, W121). A meticulously dressed stone (0.33×0.35×48 m) was incorporated in the western part of W120. The upper part of the channel was used for heating and the lower part was used for stoking (Fig. 14). An opening with a lintel was situated in the stoking channel, close to the floor of the kiln.
Several body sherds of jars from the Byzantine or Early Islamic periods were found above the heating channel (L26).
Pottery dating to the seventh century BCE was found in the building and in the first columbarium; it belonged to types common at that time in the Judean Shephelah, the southern coastal plain and the northern Negev. The types of vessels included those that were widespread in the eighth and seventh centuries BCE, such as open bowls with straight (Fig. 15:1) and curved sides, open carinated bowls (Fig. 15:2) and closed ones (Fig. 15:3), carinated kraters with a thickened rim (Fig. 15:5), cooking pots with a tall neck (Fig. 15:7), as well as the jugs, jars (Fig. 15:8), holemouths, pithoi, stands (Fig. 15;11) and lamps (Fig. 15:10; and there are those that only began to appear in the seventh century BCE, among them curved bowls with a thick side, mortaria (Fig. 15:4), squat bodied cooking pots without a neck (Fig. 15:6) and a holemouth with a stepped rim (Fig. 15:9).
The excavation added to the number of installations known in the agricultural hinterland between Horbat Mayish, Horbat Avraq and Horbat Hazzan, and exposed a rural site of Iron Age IIC that was previously unknown. The diverse agricultural installations that were exposed, including winepresses, limekilns, columbarium caves and cupmarks, is consistent with the results of the surveys in the region. The distribution of the installations across a wide area, the limited excavation of some of them and the scant finds make it difficult to date the remains and ascribe them to the agricultural hinterland of any particular large settlement. The kiln is probably connected to Horbat Hazzan where remains that date to the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods were found (Map of Amazya : 90, Site 520). The first columbarium, the building and possibly the second columbarium might be connected to Horbat Mayish (Map of Amazya : 100, Site 541), where remains that dated to Iron Age II were discovered. The building, which existed during a period of economic prosperity and peace that facilitated a wave of construction and a significant increase in the number of settlements in the region, was abandoned in the seventh century BCE. The building’s state of preservation makes it difficult to draw conclusions regarding the closing stages of the settlement to which it belonged.