Two excavation areas (Fig. 2) were opened. One area (4.5 × 4.5 m) was excavated near the center of the damaged area, close to its southern limits. Remains dating from the end of the Byzantine period and the beginning of the Early Islamic period were documented. These included a floor founded directly on the bedrock, which was levelled by filling shallow depressions with soil and pottery sherds (Fig. 3). The ceramic assemblage dated the floor to the seventh–eighth centuries CE.
A second area (1.0 × 7.5 m) was opened along the western limits of the damaged area. It yielded collapsed building stones mixed with pottery sherds dating from the Mamluk (thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE) and Ottoman (fifteenth–nineteenth centuries CE) periods that covered a modern wall foundation (W1); only the bottom part of the wall survived (Figs. 2, 4). The wall belonged to a Syrian village. It was constructed in a method characteristic of modern buildings in the Golan, utilizing basalt fieldstones and pottery sherds mixed with white mortar and charcoal fragments. Rusted modern metal items were found in the accumulations on the surface.
The pottery assemblage is mixed, indicating the mixture of various collapses, possibly as a result of pushing ruins aside during the construction of the resort village. The assemblage represents a range of periods, both for which ruins are known at the site and for which no architectural evidence has yet been found. It includes a cooking pot from the Roman period (Fig. 5:1); a Cypriot Red Slip bowl (Fig. 5:2; Hayes 1972
:399–401, Fig. 89c), a krater (Fig. 5:3), a jar (Fig. 5:4) and an amphoriskos (Fig. 5:5; Stacey 2004
:134, Fig. 5.45:1) from the late Byzantine and Umayyad periods; a bowl with a ledge rim (Fig. 5:6), a green-glazed bowl (Fig. 5:7), a green and brown-glazed bowl (Figs. 5:8; 6; Avissar and Stern 2005
:20–21, Fig. 2), a bowl decorated with light green slipped stripes (Fig. 5:9), a handmade bowl (Fig. 5:10), a krater (Fig. 5:11) and a handmade jar decorated with a red geometric pattern (Fig. 5:12; Avissar and Stern 2005
:113–116, Fig. 48:1) from the Mamluk period; and a jar (Fig. 5:13) from the Ottoman period.
This is the first archaeological excavation conducted at the site. The pottery assemblage confirms the survey findings that indicate that the site was first inhabited in the Roman period and that the settlement continued to exist during the Byzantine and Early and Late Islamic periods. The pottery from the Umayyad period reflects the continuous presence at the site following the Muslim conquest. Unfortunately, the difficult excavating conditions encountered at the site due to previous damage hampered our understanding of the settlement. Hopefully, future excavations at the site will be carried out prior to any damage to antiquities, and presumably they will unearth remains from all of the periods that were documented in the survey.