In August 2016, a trial excavation was conducted at Shave Ziyyon (Permit No. A-7778; map ref. 208274–84/765605–15; Fig. 1) following a plan to renovate and develop the Hofit hotel and its surroundings. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the hotel owners, was directed by R. Abu Raya, with the assistance of Y. Lerer, A. Shapiro (GPS and surveying), R. Abu Halaf and B. Zidan (administration) and laborers from Sakhnin.
The excavation was located within the site of Khirbat el-Mallah
a, which extends south of Nahariyya as far as Shave Z
iyyon. Previous excavations conducted at the site uncovered settlement remains from the Iron Age, as well as the Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. Byzantine remains discovered near the current excavation include a cemetery, c. 20 m to the north, and a church, c. 200 m to the southwest (Prausnitz 1967
). The site and its vicinity were documented as part of theMap of Nahariyya survey (Frankel and Getzov 2012
: Sites 10–13).
Two adjacent squares were opened; the northern square (5 × 5 m, max. depth 1 m), which was excavated in a layer of beach sand (zifzif) using mechanical equipment, produced no finds. The southern square (2.3 × 4.0 m; Fig. 2) had been disturbed by modern infrastructure on its west side (L101). A layer of sandy hamra (L102; c. 0.15 m thick) unearthed in the eastern part of the square yielded fragments of ribbed jars characteristic of the Roman and Byzantine periods and sealed a uniform layer of beach sand (zifzif). Within the hamra layer was an in situ ashlar (0.35 × 0.55 m, c. 0.2 m thick; Fig. 3) surmounted by a similar stone placed in a slant; the stones were evidently part of a wall that had been damaged and robbed in the past.
Frankel R. and Getzov N. 2012. Nahariyya Map (4) (Archaeological Survey of Israel).
Prausnitz M.W. 1967. Excavations at Shavei Zion: The Early Christian Church. Rome.