Two squares (A, B; Fig. 1) were opened on the main hill in the oldest quarter of the township. Remains of a building dating to the Byzantine period and a quarry (Figs. 2, 3) were exposed in Sq A and a quarry was discovered in Sq B.
Quarries. A small building-stone quarry was discovered in each of the squares. The quarry in Sq A has traces of straight rock-cuttings and separating channels of stones (stone dimensions 0.3×0.8×1.0 m). This quarry was adjacent to the southern side of a dressed bedrock surface, on whose southern and western sides were two hewn perpendicular walls and two cupmarks (Fig. 4); the cupmarks might have been used as a base for wooden beams to which a shade netting was tied above the quarrymen. Two quarrying steps were discovered in Sq B, in which straight rock-cuttings and separating channels of stones (average width 0.1 m; Fig. 5) were discerned. The quarries in the two squares were overlain with soil fill, stones and stone dressing debris (L104, L105) that were presumably deposited for the purpose of constructing the building. The layers of fill in both squares yielded potsherds dating to the Roman and Byzantine periods, including an ERS bowl from Egypt (Fig. 6:1) from the Byzantine period, a CRS bowl (Fig. 6:2) from the late fifth–early sixth centuries CE, a handmade krater (Fig. 6:3) from the fifth–seventh centuries CE, a cooking pot from the Roman period (Fig. 6:4) and a jar (Fig. 6:5) from the late sixth and early seventh centuries CE. On the basis of the ceramic finds, it seems that the quarries ceased to operate during the Byzantine period. The quarries are probably the earliest ones in the vicinity of the excavation.
Architectural Remains. Remains of a building that was founded on a leveled bedrock surface were discovered in Sq A. To form the leveled surface, a retaining wall (W13) was built west of the bedrock surface and the area of the quarry was filled in. The building’s remains include five walls (W10–W12, W14, W15; width c. 0.4 m; Fig. 7) built of one row of dry limestone construction and preserved one–two courses high. The building was poorly preserved. Its walls delimited five architectural units (1–5); Units 1 and 2 were not excavated because they extended beyond the limits of the excavation area. The floor of Unit 3 was composed of nari slabs placed on the bedrock. The floor of Unit 4 utilized the bedrock surface (Fig. 8). The floor in Unit 5 was not preserved.
Overlying the floors of Units 3 and 4 was a layer of whitish soil (marl; L100, L102), which contained potsherds that dated to the Byzantine period, including a LRC3 bowl (Fig. 9:1) from the fifth–sixth centuries CE, a CRS7 bowl (Fig. 9:2) from the second half of the sixth and early seventh centuries CE and a jar (Fig. 9:3) from the sixth–seventh centuries CE. The construction of the building should probably be dated to the Late Byzantine period on account of the ceramic artifacts discovered in the fill above the quarry, which served as a foundation layer for the structure.
Quarries from the Byzantine period overlain with the remains of a residential building that dated to the Late Byzantine period were discovered in the excavation. It seems that during the Byzantine period the main hill in Ramat Yishay was part of the settlement’s agricultural hinterland, whereas at the end of that period the settlement expanded in the direction of this farmland area. The area was apparently partly abandoned in the Early Islamic and Mamluk periods.