Remains of a square building (L101; 3.8 × 4.1 m) founded on the rock were exposed in the northern excavation square. Four walls (W102, W104–W106) survived. The eastern wall (W104) had two foundation courses of small and medium fieldstones, and upper courses of large rectangular stones (Fig. 5). The southern wall (W102), was built into a niche in the rock, and was preserved to a height of one course. Only fragments of the northern and western walls (W105 and W106, respectively) survived, and they were preserved to a height of a single course. Scant remains of a stone pavement, or the foundation of a pavement, were discovered in the northern part of the building, abutting the northern wall (Fig. 6). Several fragments of pottery were found in the building, including imported bowls and jars. A rock surface (L100) in which several hewn channels and quarrying marks were discovered, was exposed in the southern excavation square. A large accumulation of pottery sherds, mainly jars, but also some cooking pots and imported bowls, was discovered on the rock surface.
Most of the pottery which was found in the excavation, was on the rock surface, and a small proportion in the building. The assemblage included imported bowls, cooking wares, jars and roof tiles. Several glass fragments were discovered, including fragments of a rectangular windowpane—possibly indicating a church nearby—and a fragment of a wine goblet (Y. Gorin-Rosen, pers. comm.), and also several fragments of marble floor-tiles from an opus sectile pavement.
The Pottery. The imported bowls are red-burnished LRC and CRS vessels, including LRC3 bowls (Fig. 7:1–5), which date from the mid-fifth century to the mid-sixth century CE; a base of a bowl decorated with leaves and circles (Fig. 7:6), a decoration which is characteristic of LRC bowls from the beginning of the fifth century to the late sixth century CE; a LRC10 bowl (Fig. 7:7) which dates from the mid-sixth century to the early seventh century CE; a LRC2A bowl with a concave ledge rim (Fig. 7:8), a type which appeared as early as the first half of the fifth century CE; and a CRS9 bowl, which was imported from Cyprus (Fig. 7:9), and dates from the sixth century to the early seventh century CE.
The cooking wares included frying-pan (Fig. 7:10); open casseroles with horizontal handles (Fig. 7:11, 12); lids of various sizes (Fig. 7:13, 14), dating to the Byzantine period (early fourth century – early seventh century CE); and two types of closed cooking pots—one with a tall upright neck (Fig. 7:15) and the other with a short neck (Fig. 7:16)—which have parallels of the fifth–sixth centuries CE in Strata VII–VIII at ‘Uza.
Jars constitute the main bulk of the pottery. Three types were identified, which are distinguished by their rims, and were most likely produced in different workshops. (1) jars with high neck, with a ridge at its base and a thickened rim (Fig. 7:17, 18). Usually this type has a barrel-shaped body. It is common in northern sites such as Rama and ‘Uza (Strata VIII–VII), and dates from the late fourth/early fifth centuries to the sixth century CE. (2) Bata jars (Fig. 7:19, 20), which were manufactured in the pottery workshop that was exposed at Horbat Bata. This type is characterized by a thickened rim with a square cross-section and a low concave neck which is narrower than the rim. These are good-quality jars that date to the fifth–sixth centuries CE. (3) ‘Uza jar Type 7 (Fig. 7:21–23), which is very similar in form to the Bata jars, but has a smaller diameter and a carelessly finished rim. Jar-lids with a button-like knob (Fig. 7:24, 25), which resemble the lids found in Strata VIII–IX at ‘Uza, were also discovered.
Numerous roof tiles (Fig. 7:26) were discovered inside the building and on the rock surface, indicating that the structure was probably covered, and possibly had a second story.
The building which was exposed was part of an extensive complex, probably a monastery, whose western part was damaged. Given the pottery finds, including the roof tiles, and the marble floor tiles, it seems that the structure was used as a living quarters. A large quantity of jars, which were produced in the workshop at Horbat Bata—a mere few kilometers from the site (Avshalom-Gorni 1998:62–63)—were found. The monastery at Horbat Midrasa is a typical rural monastery that existed in the fifth–sixth centuries CE and its inhabitants were engaged in agricultural activity. It is possible that the oil from the press, which was documented inside the cave, was transported in jars from the monastery to the main settlement at Horbat Bata.