The current excavation extended across a moderate slope that descends toward the east. The ground is characterized by a layer of dark-brown clay above red hamra.
Two areas (Fig. 2) were opened: two squares were excavated in the southern area (A) and fifteen squares were excavated in the northern area (B).
Area A (Fig. 3)
Remains of walls (W104—height 0.1 m, W105—height 0.33 m), which seem to be two sections of a single foundation-wall of a water channel, were excavated, and remains of two walls (W107—height 0.24 m, W108—height 0.25 m), which diverged from the channel, were exposed. The walls were constructed of small kurkar stones, and were preserved to a height of two courses. Wall 107 adjoined W104 along an east–west axis, and was probably a branch of the channel that led to a cultivation plot in the north; W108 adjoined W105 on a north–south axis, and was probably a branch of the channel for a cultivation plot in the south. Fragments of pottery vessels dating to the Late Ottoman period were discovered around the walls (L101, L102, L103, L111).
Area B (Fig. 4)
A rectangular lime pit (L221; length 1.34 m, width 1.2 m, depth 0.2 m) with round corners was discovered in the northwestern part of the area; it dates to the Late Ottoman period. A concrete pipe from the time of the British Mandate was revealed south of the pit.
East and southeast of the lime pit, were remains of three Late-Ottoman period tabuns (L241, L242, L246). The tabuns were dug into the clay and hamra soil, and their floor was filled with a thin layer of kurkar. The eastern half of Tabun 241 (wall thickness 0.07 m, diam. 1.17 m, depth 0.55 m) was excavated, exposing mainly burnt soil. Fragments of pottery, mostly jars, were found inside Tabun 242 (wall thickness 0.07 m, diam. 0.72 m, depth 0.51 m; Fig. 5). Tabun 246 was in a poor state of preservation.
Two similar pools (A and B; Fig. 2) were discovered. Pool B, to the west and outside the limits of the excavation area, was square (16 × 16 m, depth 2 m). Its walls (thickness 1 m) were built of kurkar stones bonded with mortar, and their inner surface was plastered. Pool A was in the eastern part of the excavation area. A long wall (W211; length 13.8 m, height 0.52 m; Fig. 6) running east–west and constructed of medium–large kurkar stones was preserved of it. The northern face of the wall was built of roughly hewn stones, which were partially plastered—evidence that this was an inside surface. North of the wall, remains of the foundations of the pool’s floor (L236, L248), made of small kurkar stones bonded with white mortar, were discovered. In a later phase, during the British Mandate, concrete walls (W219, height 0.28 m; W222, height 0.4 m) were built in the eastern part of the pool to make it smaller .
Floor foundations made of small stones and pink clay were discovered south of the pool. Through this floor, a semi-circular installation (L245; depth 0.35 m) was dug, and paved with kurkar stones; the function of the installation is unclear.
The outer western wall of a well (L250; c. 4 × 4 m; Fig. 7), which was built of kurkar stones, was identified slightly to the south and at a lower level. In the modern era a concrete surface was poured above the well, blocking and obscuring its opening. At some point during the British Mandate period, a motor was set on a concrete base (L251) west of the well. A concrete pipe, exposed in some of the squares, conveyed water from the well toward Pool B, and it seems that by this time, Pool A, which was next to the well, was no longer in use. An iron water pipe is still connected to the well, testifying to its use in the modern era. Concrete surfaces (L214) were also poured west of the well.
A plastered water channel (W212; width 0.2 m, height 0.4 m; Fig. 8), set on a foundation wall of small kurkar stones and aligned north–south, was exposed in the northern part of the excavation area. Pottery sherds dating to the Late Ottoman period were discovered in the vicinity of the channel.
Pottery from the Early Islamic period and the Late Mamluk–Early Ottoman period were discovered in a number of points where the excavation went deeper into the hamra (for example L210) .
The ceramic finds from Area B included a jug (Fig. 9:1) from the Early Islamic period; a bowl (Fig. 9:2) and a basin (Fig. 9:3) from the end of the Mamluk period or the beginning of the Ottoman period, bowls (Fig. 9:4–8), pots (Fig. 9:9, 10), sapling planters used in orchards (Fig. 9:11–13; see Boas 2000
; Israel 2006
:273–274), jars (Fig. 10:1–6), ‘dairy’ jars for transporting milk (Fig. 10:7; Israel 2006
:222–230), an asliyah
-type jar for transporting water (Fig. 10:8), a saqie
jar (Fig. 10:9) and pipes (Fig. 10:10, 11) from the Late Ottoman period; in addition to these, a fragment of a millstone (Fig. 11 ) was discovered, also dating to the Late Ottoman period.
The water channels, pools, well, tabuns and lime pit, are all part of an agricultural complex from the Late Ottoman period, which was modified during the British Mandate. A scattering of pottery sherds from the Abbasid period and the Late Mamluk–Early Ottoman period indicate activity in the immediate vicinity during these periods. The nature of the finds is consistent with those uncovered in previous excavations nearby.