A large rectangular building (11.5 × 13.5 m; Fig. 2), aligned east–west, was exposed. The building dates to the Late Ottoman–Mandatory periods and comprises seven rooms, a courtyard and an installation that was probably a trough. The low, northeastern part of the structure, was poorly preserved due to severe erosion and weathering. The southern and western parts were built below the original surface level and survived to a height of c. 5 courses (c. 1 m; Fig. 3). The different elevations within the building area were addressed by lowering the original surface in the southwestern part by c. 2 m and in the northwestern part by c. 0.5 m. The outer walls of the building were constructed of fieldstones of various sizes (W10–W13; width c. 0.6 m). In the southwestern part they were built on a loess step (width c. 1 m) that was excavated to a depth of c. 1 m. This step seems to have served also as a base to wooden beams that supported the floor of Room R3, above a cellar c. 1.2 m deep.
Two units were discovered in the western part of the building: a northern one (3.5 × 3.7 m) and a southern one (3.7 × 6.5 m). They were separated by an inner wall (W15) that abuts the western wall of the building (W11). The northern unit was delimited by W10, W11, W14, W15 and W18, and was divided into two rooms by W23 and W27 (R1 in the east and R2 in the west; Fig. 4). The entrance to it (width 0.5 m), in the east between W14 and W18, led to a rectangular room (R1; 1.7 × 3.0 m). A thick layer of mud plaster (c. 0.1 m), which was preserved at the point of contact between the floor and the walls, originally coated the inside surface of all the walls. A burnt layer covered the tamped earth floor of the room (L128), and above it was a thick layer of collapsed stones. Several fragments of pottery vessels were found in the burnt layer, among them bowls (Fig. 5:1, 2) and drinking jugs (ibrik; Fig. 5:4–6) from the Late Ottoman–Mandatory period. The entrance to Room R2 (width 1 m) was between W23 and W27. In the southern corner of the room was another small space (L124, 0.8 × 1.5 m; Fig. 6), probably a closet. It was enclosed on the east by a stone wall (W23) that was preserved to a height of c. 1 m, and on the north by a narrow brick wall (width c. 0.15 m) constructed of a single row of mud bricks and preserved to a height of c. 0.5 m. On the tamped earth floor of the small space was a thick burnt layer containing large quantities of ash mixed with fragments of mud bricks, and above it a thick layer of stone-collapse. Metal items, among them plow-blades (Fig. 7:1–3) and an internal locking mechanism of a door (Fig. 7:4), were found in the burnt layer. Wall 27, which delineates the northern part of Room 2 on the east, was built of mud bricks and was preserved to a height of c. 0.2 m. The wall had toppled into the room and its remains were found in the collapse. Remains of a fierce fire were found on the tamped earth floor of this room too (L130).
The entire southern unit was dug into a steep slope, to a depth of c. 1.2 m in the north, and c. 2 m in the south. The entrance to this unit, as to the northern one, was through an opening (width 0.8 m) between W16 and W17 that led from the courtyard east of the building. In the northern part of the space was a stone wall (W21, width 0.4 m; Fig. 8), preserved to a height of c. 1 m, which abutted W15 from the south and divided the northern part of the unit into two rooms (R4 and R5). Room 4 (1.5 × 1.7 m) was delimited by W15 in the north, W11 in the west and W21 in the east; its southern boundary was not found. On the tamped earth floor of this room were a bronze knife handle (Fig. 9:1) and an iron rake (Fig. 9:2). In Room 5 (1.3 × 1.8 m) were remains of a wall (W31) that abutted the southern end of W16 from the east. Two courses of the wall (height 0.3 m) were preserved. The wall, built of fieldstones and mud bricks, sets the boundary of Room 5 on the south. Metal objects, e.g. broken plows, a cattle prod (Fig. 10) and an iron rod with a screw in it were found on the floor of the room (L136). In its northern part, next to W15, was a small pit (diam. c. 0.2 m, depth c. 0.3 m) filled with ash mixed with dissolved mud bricks. Pieces of an iron plow and a hook were found in the pit. South of Rooms 4 and 5 was a large space (R3, 3.7 × 4.7 m) that was enclosed by W12 in the south, W11 in the west and W17 in the east. A thick burnt layer (c. 0.4 m) overlain with collapse (Fig. 11) covered the tamped earth floor of the three rooms in the southern space (L135, L136, L138). An iron stake with a piece of rope tied to it (Fig. 12) and a fragment of a glass bottle (Fig. 13) were found at the bottom of the collapse layer in Room 3 (L134). Several fragments of pottery vessels, including a jar (Fig. 5:7) and an ibrik jug (Fig. 5:3) dating to the Late Ottoman–Mandatory period were found on Floor 135. Judging by the size of the collapse, the walls in the western part of the building rose to a height of c. 2 m.
A large courtyard in the eastern part of the building (R8; 7. 5 × 11.0 m) was delimited by W12 in the south, W13 in the east and W10 in the north. In the western part of the courtyard were two more rooms: R7 in the northwestern corner and R6 in the southwestern corner. Room 7 (1.5 × 2.3 m) was delimited by W10 in the north, W14 in the west, W20 in the south and W19 in east. Due to the poor preservation of the walls no entrance to the room was found. Nevertheless, it seems that the opening was in the east. On the tamped earth floor of the room was a thin layer of collapsed stones, and it seems that most of them came from Walls 10 and 14 in the north and west respectively. A similar picture was discerned in the southern room (R6; 1.5 × 1.5 m), which was enclosed by W12 in the south, W17 in the west, W26 in the north and W25 in the east. The northern and eastern walls of Room 6, like those of Room7, were poorly preserved, and it seems that they were not very high. The tamped earth floors of Rooms 6 and 7 were devoid of any artifacts. On the floor of the courtyard (L123, L132) were body sherds of pottery characteristic of the Late Ottoman–early Mandatory period and iron objects such as the plow-blade (Fig. 7:5) which was discovered near W25 in Room 6. Another plow and a horseshoe (Fig. 14) were found at floor level in a trial trench (L129) that was excavated in the northeastern corner of the courtyard. The size of the collapse, which was found near the courtyard walls, seems to indicate that they were not very high. Due to their poor state of preservation it was not possible to determine with certainty the location of the entrance to the courtyard.
Remains of a rectangular installation (L131; 0.8 × 3.8 m), probably a trough, were found in the northwestern corner of the courtyard. It was delimited by W29 in the north, W11 in the west, W10 in the south and W30 in the east. The foundations of the installation were excavated; its upper part, like the northeastern corner of the courtyard, had been destroyed by erosion and weathering.
The layers of fire debris and mud-brick collapse throughout the western part of the building indicate a destruction event. It seems that the structure collapsed in the wake of a fierce fire that burnt the roof beams and the wooden ceiling. The finds included fragments of pottery, glass vessels and a variety of metal tools from the Late Ottoman period and the British Mandate. The diversity of the tools that were discovered in the excavation indicates that the inhabitants were engaged in ongoing, intensive agriculture. The location of the structure in the Be’er Sheva‘ Valley, its plan and the building materials used, show that it was continuously occupied from end of the Ottoman period through the British Mandate. This complex and others that were documented and excavated in the Be’er Sheva‘ Valley (Ustinova and Nahshoni 1994; Nikolsky 2010; Nikolsky 2011a; Nikolsky 2011b), reflect the first permanent settlement of local Bedouins or Egyptian peasants in the area.