Stratum 3—the Chalcolithic period. Fragmentary architectural remains built of small limestone and basalt fieldstones were discovered in the northeastern part of Area C (Figs. 3, 4). A round installation was exposed between wall fragments on the northeastern edge of these remains (L25; Fig. 5). The installation was constructed of small limestone fieldstones, and preserved to a height of one course; its southwestern part was missing. The installation was founded on a level of gray travertine soil and small stones (L24). A section of floor made of compacted earth embedded with tiny stones (L26) was exposed south of the architectural remains. Several fragments of pottery vessels from the Chalcolithic period (not illustrated) were found in this stratum, as well as flint tools that date to the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods. These last include a very worn axe/polished knife (L20; Fig. 6:1) and a very worn broken adze (L25; Fig. 6:2).
Stratum 2—the Roman period (third century CE). A line of medium and large limestone and basalt fieldstones (L19; Fig. 3) was exposed in the center of the southwestern part of Area C. It was oriented in a northeast–southwest direction, and extended beyond the excavation boundaries. The stones were placed on a thin layer of light gray soil that accumulated over the Chalcolithic-period floor. Southeast of the line of stones was a habitation level from the Middle Roman period in which were found worn fragments of pottery and a Roman provincial coin (200–270 CE; IAA 144618).
Stratum 1—the Byzantine period (fifth–sixth centuries CE; Figs. 7, 8). Remains of a water channel oriented northwest–southeast were exposed in Area A (L10; Fig. 9). The walls of the channel were constructed from medium-size fieldstones and roughly hewn nari and travertine stones. Its floor was made of nari slabs laid in a row, and of small stones that were mainly used to fill the gaps between the slabs and the sides. Only the foundation course of the channel walls was preserved, and they were therefore visible above floor level only in a few places. The channel was founded on travertine sediment (L13).
A deep layer of accumulated soil consisting of grayish buff travertine sand, shells and numerous snails, was excavated below the topsoil north of the channel and bedrock (L1, L21; Fig. 10).
In the southeastern part of Area A was a wall (W6) oriented northeast–southwest. It was constructed of medium-size fieldstones, or roughly hewn basalt, with a core of small stones and earth. Both ends of the wall extended beyond the excavation boundaries. It was founded on travertine sediment devoid of potsherds (L12) and was preserved to a height of one course (Fig. 11). In the area bounded by W6, Channel 10, the natural bedrock rising north and northwest of the channel, and the southwestern balk of the excavation (L2, L18, L22), was an area containing bone refuse, which was cut by the trial trench (L14). Bones of cattle and sheep/goat were discovered beneath stones that had fallen from W6 in the southeast, and within light gray travertine sediment in the rest of the area (Fig. 12). Butchering marks on the bones indicate that they were discarded after the meat was removed. An identical accumulation of cattle and sheep/goat bones with butchering marks was exposed in Area C (L5, L20). There, however, the bones were preserved by the travertine which solidified around the them, forming a stone-hard protective layer. The quantity of bones seem to decreases toward the northeast.
The ceramic finds from this stratum included cooking pots (Fig 13:1–3) and frying pans (Fig. 13:4, 5) that date to the Byzantine period (fifth–sixth centuries CE).
The excavation showed that activity at the site began during the Chalcolithic period. The architectural finds in Stratum 3, as well as the walls and pottery sherds that were discovered during the inspection prior to the excavation, indicate the existence of a settlement in this period. In the Middle Roman period there was activity at the site whose nature cannot be determined. However, the location outside the city of Scythopolis increases the likelihood that it was related to agriculture.
The Byzantine period remains indicate agricultural activity in the fifth–sixth centuries CE. Water for the crops and animals was supplied by the water channel, which may have been connected to the nearby aqueduct northwest of the site.
Judging by its length, Wall 6 was probably an enclosure wall of an architectural complex. Since the animal bones were found northwest of the wall, the complex very likely extended southeast of it. The complex was presumably an abattoir that discarded debris outside its boundaries, and the place may also have been used as a waste site by the butchers of Scythopolis.
The refuse site extends across a large area. The bones were of cattle and sheep/goats, species which are considered pure in Jewish law, and permissible to eat. No bones of rear quarters of cattle were found. This may be related to the preference of Jews for the front parts, because of the considerable work involved in preparing the rear parts according to the proscribed dietary laws. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the waste site was used by the Jewish and Samaritan population of Scythopolis. Identifying adherence to the dietary laws provides important information regarding the religious life of this population, who lived amongst a Christian majority in the fifth–sixth centuries CE.