In May 2015, a salvage excavation was conducted at Bir el-‘Abd, c. 1 km west of Kibbutz Ha-Ma‘apil (Permit No. A-7400; map ref. 197344–517/698944–9077), after antiquities were discovered while installing an underground electric cable. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Israel Electric Company, was directed by V. Eshed (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), A. Dagot (GPS), M. Kunin (surveying and drafting), H. Torgë (ceramics) and M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing).
A layer of tamped lime (L11; Fig. 2) that could not be dated with certainty and may be modern was discovered in the northeast of the excavation area. To its west, a lower elevation by about 0.4 m, was a layer of small limestone fieldstones (L13). The stones were founded on hamra (L15) that contained fragments of a fish plate from the Hellenistic period (third–second centuries BCE; Fig. 3:1). It seems that the limestone layer was a floor foundation from the Hellenistic period. Hamra that contained a mixture of pottery finds dating from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods (L12) was discovered right below the surface level (L10) down to a depth of c. 1.2 m. The finds include a jar from the Hellenistic period (third–second centuries BCE; L12; Fig. 3:2), a jar from the Early Roman period (first century BCE – first century CE; L12; Fig. 3:3) and a coastal jar from the Byzantine period (fifth–seventh centuries CE; L10; Fig. 3:4). The dates of the artifacts revealed in the excavation correspond to the dating of the remains discovered at the site so far.
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