During November–December 2011, a salvage excavation was conducted along the southeastern slopes of Giv‘at Ram (Permit No. A-6343; map ref. 219414/632336), prior to paving Highway 30. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by Moriya, the Jerusalem Development Company, was directed by D. Levi, with the assistance of N. Nehama (administration), A. Hajian (surveying), S. Hassan ‘Amlah (metal detection), Y. Shmidov (drafting), C. Amit (studio photography) and D.T. Ariel (numismatics).
Four squares (30 sq m) were excavated down to bedrock (Figs. 2, 3) and two layers of brown terra rossa soil sloping from west to east in the direction of the spur were exposed. This soil accumulated over the rocks of the Veradim Formation (Fig. 4), which are characteristic of Giv‘at Ram and the Binyene Ha-Umma site. The upper layer (c. 0.4 m) consisted of dark brown soil containing numerous small worn potsherds and the bottom layer (c. 0.9 m) was light brown terra rossa soil mixed with more potsherds and small stones.
Fragments of cooking pots and kiln debris from the Second Temple period were discovered in both layers, including fragments of stands bearing impressed and engraved marks (Fig. 5), along with potsherds, brick and roof tile debris from the Tenth Legion pottery workshop, fragments of Byzantine pottery vessels and a few white tesserae. Presumably, they originated at the Binyene Ha-Umma site. In addition, nails and four coins were discovered. Two of the coins dated to the Second Temple period, one possibly to the reign of Herod (IAA 138056) and the other from the time of the Great Revolt (67/68 CE; IAA 138055); a third coin was from the time of Justinian I and the Carthage mint (534–565 CE; IAA 138057) and the fourth coin might be Early Ottoman (IAA 138058).
The many potsherds recovered from the excavation have their origins in the Binyene Ha-Umma site; swept from the top of the spur, they accumulated in layers above the rocky area. There are no modern disturbances and they presumably come from the southern part of the site. When Sheikh Bader village was established, the region was utilized for cultivation. This activity is undoubtedly what created the upper layer with the worn potsherds.