Area A (1 dunam; Fig. 3), was situated on a low hill that was used in the past for parking. Remains of two Byzantine-period buildings and several pits were discovered. Prior to the construction of the buildings, the area was leveled during the Byzantine period, using loess mixed with broken mud bricks and pottery sherds from the IA II, the Late Roman and the Byzantine periods. The depth of the fill varied, from 0.4–0.9 m. Two buildings (A, B) and sections of walls of other buildings were observed above the fill.
Building A (c. 112 sq m) was poorly preserved. It was delimited by three fieldstone wall-foundations, that survived to a height of one–three courses. Walls that were built in a similar manner and preserved to a maximum height of three courses, were discovered west of the building. No floors were identified.
Two pits that were dug after Building A was no longer in use, were found slightly north and south of the structure. The pits were filled with levels of fieldstones and layers of ash and pale red loess; pottery from the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods were recovered from them.
Building B was exposed in the eastern part of the area (Fig. 4). Its walls were constructed of rows of medium size fieldstones and a core of small stones. Four rooms were preserved from this structure, with floors of dressed chalk slabs, on a bedding of mud plaster mixed with crushed limestone. Pottery from the Byzantine period was found on the floors. It was difficult to estimate the extent of the structure because it was only partially preserved.
The soil fill that was excavated throughout Area A included mud bricks, fieldstones, pottery from a variety of periods, pieces of ancient concrete, and modern debris, evidence that the area was disturbed in modern times and that the construction that once existed there was no longer preserved.
Area B (925 sq m, Fig. 5) was situated on a natural hill sloping south (elevation 273.65 m asl). Two construction phases were identified: early (Stratum II) and late (Stratum I). In the northern part of the site (13 × 16 m), the remains of Stratum II were below those of Stratum I, which included fills, and segments of walls and floors, dating to the Byzantine period. Due to the partial preservation of the remains it was not possible to evaluate their scope and nature. The walls and floors of Stratum I were built on the remains of Stratum II, and the depressions in the ground were filled with debris or soil. Two adjacent buildings (A, B) that date to the Byzantine period (sixth–seventh century CE) were exposed, and two construction phases were observed in them: an early one (Phase 2) and a late one (Phase 1). Architectural changes between the phases included raised floor levels, cancelled or added walls and installations, and changes to the function of the rooms (Fig. 6). The ceilings in the large rooms were supported by ashlar-built arches set on pillars next to the walls. The floors of the rooms were covered with the collapsed voussoirs and numerous tiles that had been part of the roof.
Building A was exposed in the southern part of the area (325 sq m). In Phase 2 the perimeter walls on the north and east enclosed the building;, while the southern and western walls were not preserved. The building consisted of fourteen rooms built on the natural loess, around a central courtyard (Courtyard 15; doorway width 0.8 m). The walls of the building were constructed of rows of fieldstones interspersed with large flint nodules and small river pebbles. Courses of mud-brick construction were preserved in several places. The floors of the rooms, which were made of tamped loess that was leveled prior to construction, abutted the bases of the wall and were covered with mud plaster.
In Phase 1 architectural changes were made, as evidenced by raised floor levels and building additions. In most of the units new floors were laid on top of the previous ones. The exceptions were Rooms 3 and 5 where the Phase 2 floors remained in use. Most of the Phase 1 floors were made of tamped loess, and covered by collapsed stones and soil fill. The open courtyards were paved with stones. Installations were added: tabuns, and grinding and crushing stones. Several of the entranceways to the rooms were changed, and partition walls were erected in the main courtyard (15) to create new work spaces (Units 16–20; Fig. 7) that were used for preparing food and for cooking.
Building B (600 sq m) was constructed in Phase 2, along the northern side of Building 1. The southern part of the building was erected on the natural loess and its northern part over Stratum II. The previous remains were leveled with a mixture of loess, contemporary refuse and ash. Some of the foundations were sunk into depressions or pits from the previous stratum. In other places, where the natural loess was higher than the earlier surface level, the walls were built on the loess, and the floors of the rooms were founded at the foot of the small mounds, under the base of the walls. The building consisted of fourteen rooms and perimeter walls were found on the south and east. The walls were built of rows of fieldstones with some large flint nodules, chalk and small river pebbles. The floors of the rooms were beneath a layer of soft loess fill and were made of tamped earth covered with mud plaster. The floors of the courtyards were made of roughly hewn limestone slabs (Fig. 8). A line of three walls running north–south through the center of the building was discerned. No openings were identified in these walls, and it seems that they divided the building into eastern and western wings. A storage area that contained several compartments (40–43; Fig. 9) and an entrance to a cellar (44; Fig. 10), were discerned in the northeastern part of the building, over the Stratum II occupation levels.
In Phase 1 the rooms from the previous stratum were filled, and new partition walls were constructed. The floors of the rooms were built above a fill of pounded earth mixed with small chalk stones and soft loess. Most of the floors were discovered below collapsed chalk, pebbles and fieldstones.
The pottery that was discovered at the site included vessels characteristic of the Negev sites in the sixth–seventh centuries CE, and several types that appear in the region for the first time in the fifth century CE. Large storage vessels were discovered, including amphorae and jars—about half the jars were bag-shaped, and half were Gaza jars; a large variety of bowls, some of which were locally produced and some imported from all around the Mediterranean basin; numerous basins adorned with a variety of combed decorations that are characteristic of the local pottery tradition in the Be’er Sheva‘ area; cooking vessels including a variety of cooking pots, casseroles and jugs; sandal lamps and small juglets that were apparently used to hold oil and perfume. The pottery that was discovered reflects intensive activity related to storage and preparation of food.
The excavation uncovered a settlement from the Byzantine period (sixth century CE). It seems that two villas or public buildings stood in Area B, and rooms were discovered in them that were used for various purposes: for preparing and cooking food, as dwellings and for storage. The open courtyards of the buildings were paved with roughly hewn fieldstones or stone slabs.