In May 2015, an excavation was conducted on Ha-Haluz Street in the Old City of Be’er Shevaʽ (Permit No. A-7399; map ref. 180109–20/572257–68; Fig. 1), after remains were exposed during an antiquities inspection prior to infrastructure work. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Be’er Shevaʽ Economic Development Company, was directed by M.D. Pasternak, with the assistance of Y. Huster (area supervision), Y. Al-ʽAmor (administration), A. Hajian and M. Kunin (surveying), D. Varga, S. Talis and N. Paran (consultation). The antiquities were exposed by A. Perez, M.D. Pasternak and A. Rasiuk.
The excavation area (75 sq m) was divided in two, whereby one part was located along the northeastern edge of Ha-Haluz Street (2 × 5 m) and the other was in the middle of the street (3 × 5 m). A cellar and a road ascribed to the time of the British Mandate and a well that could not be dated were revealed.
Cellar. An underground room (L104; 1.5 × 4.0 m, depth 2.7 m; Figs. 2, 3), probably a cellar, was exposed; it was dug into the loess. Three of its walls (W10 in the north, W11 in the south and W12 in the west [not on the plan]), which were well-preserved, were built of small and medium-sized chalk stones, some of which were dressed; much of the eastern wall (W13) had collapsed. The cellar had a vaulted ceiling built of chalk fieldstones that were arranged vertically. The ceiling was preserved thanks to the fills and accumulations around the subterranean cavity. A well-constructed doorway was fixed in the eastern part of W10. Its doorjambs were built of concrete blocks arranged as headers and stretchers, and the lintel consisted of two large dressed chalk stones that formed a gable. Inside the room was an accumulation of soil and modern refuse mixed with fragments of pottery vessels from the Ottoman period that apparently penetrated into the room after it was no longer used. It seems that the cellar had been installed beneath a residential structure that was demolished during the urban development of the Old City in the second half of the twentieth century.
Road. Remains of a road (L103) made of crushed limestone were discovered above the cellar. The continuation of the road was located one meter south of the cellar (Fig. 4).
Well. The western part of a well (L105; inner diam. 2.5 m, outer diam. 3.5 m; Figs. 5, 6) was revealed 80 m southwest of the cellar. The well was dug into the loess soil and lined with variously size chalk stones (from 0.1 × 0.2 × 0.3 m to 0.2 × 0.4 × 0.7 m), some of which were dressed. The stones were secured in place by means of small chalk wedges. The excavation of the well was halted for safety reasons. Only sixty percent of its diameter and 1.5 m of its depth (just five courses) were excavated. The well was damaged when the road was paved during the British Mandate and was covered by a concrete surface. The road could not be dated due to the damage.
The excavation finds, along with those of previous excavations, indicate that all of the Old City of Be’er Shevaʽ was inhabited during the first half of the twentieth century.