During July 2002 a trial excavation was conducted at Kh. Nina (Permit No. A-3679*; map ref. NIG 18453/63515; OIG 13453/13515) following the discovery of ancient remains while an antiquities inspection of work on Highway 6 was undertaken. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by D. Varga, with the assistance of H. Lavi (administration), V. Pirsky (surveying and drafting) and C. Hersch (drawing).
The site is situated on the southern bank of Nahal Soreq, next to the Tel Aviv–Be’er Sheva‘ railway track, between the communities of Yesodot and Yad Binyamin. Two squares were opened, revealing meager remains from the Middle Ages.
A wall (W1; Fig. 1) in one of the squares was one course high and built of two rows of fieldstones with wadi pebbles between them. The wall, founded on surface, was probably part of a foundation for a tent or other temporary dwelling. A habitation level (thickness 0.6 m) abutted the wall and consisted of dark brown soil mixed with organic material, wadi pebbles and a few worn potsherds, mainly bowls and jars.
Remains of a hearth (0.60 × 0.90 m, depth 0.45 m) were found in the second square, which was opened c. 10 m northwest of the first. The hearth contained wadi pebbles and several fragments of pottery vessels dating to the fourteenth–sixteenth centuries CE, including cooking pots, bowls (Fig. 2:1–3) and jars (Fig. 2:4–6), as well as a few crushed animal bones. It therefore seems that these remains should be attributed to a temporary transit camp, dating to the Mamluk period or the beginning of the Ottoman period.