Ten excavation squares were opened (Fig. 2), revealing remains of agricultural installations: farming terraces, stone fences, a collecting vat (winepress?), an animal pen, a field tower and a variety of rock-cuttings, apparently for water storage.
 

Farming terraces (F2, F31, F37, F46, F98). The retaining wall of Terrace 2 (W27; length c. 4 m, height c. 1.2 m; Figs. 3, 4) was built of three courses of small to medium-sized fieldstones. The retaining wall of Terrace 31 (W13; length c. 8 m, height c. 0.5 m; Fig. 5) was carelessly built, in part directly on the bedrock and in part on a thin layer of brown clayey soil, utilizing the area’s natural incline; the lower course of W13 was built of medium–large fieldstones, above which were smaller fieldstones. The retaining wall of Terrace 37 (W14; length c. 7 m, max. height c. 0.8 m; Fig. 6) was also built in part directly on the bedrock and in part on brown clayey soil; it comprised of a foundation of large fieldstones, which carried a construction of smaller fieldstones. The retaining wall of Terrace 46 (W15; length c. 3 m, height 0.4 m; Fig. 7) was built of fieldstones laid directly on the bedrock. The retaining wall of Terrace 93 (W25; length c. 5 m, height 0.4 m; Fig. 8) was built of medium–large fieldstones set directly on bedrock. The retaining wall of Terrace 98 (W33; length c. 6 m, height 0.5 m; Figs. 9, 10) was founded in part directly on the bedrock and in part on a thin layer of brown clayey soil; like W14, it comprised a foundation of large fieldstones, which carried construction of smaller stones.

 

Vat (F32; 1.1 × 1.5 m, depth 1.4 m; Figs. 11, 12). This may have been a collecting vat for a winepress, whose treading floor did not survive; at the bottom of the vat was a small sump (L103; diam. c. 0.3 m, depth c. 0.15 m).

 

Rock-cuttings (F38, F90; Fig. 13). Several rock-cuttings—possibly carelessly hewn installations—were identified (Table 1). Rock-cuttings 11 and 12 were perhaps filtration basins for Rock-cutting 104. Rock-cutting 17 has quarrying marks in its western part (Fig. 14); it was hewn at a level lower than that of the other rock-cuttings, and thus seems to have served as a cistern for water that drained into it from above. South and east of Rock-cutting 17 were several cupmarks (average diam. 0.3 m, depth 0.2 m). Rock-cuttings 23 and 31 may have been used to filter and hold surface runoff from the slope above them.

 
Table 1. Rock-cuttings
Locus
Measurements (m)
Shape
11
Depth c. 0.5
Square
12
Depth c. 0.5
Rhomboid
17
0.7 × 1.7, depth c. 0.6
Rhomboid
23
Diam. 0.5, depth 0.88
Round
31
0.5 × 0.8, depth 0.42
Rectangular
104
Depth c. 0.5
Round
 

Stone heap (F47, L24; diam. c. 3 m, height c. 0.5 m; Fig. 15). The edges of the heap consisted of large fieldstones, while the stones within it were smaller. These stones had apparently been collected from nearby plots to facilitate cultivation.

 

Field wall (F30; Fig. 16). The wall (W16; length c. 20 m, width 3.1 m, preserved height c. 0.5 m, documented length c. 4 m) had a foundation of large fieldstones set on a layer of clayey soil that covered the bedrock. Above the foundation were fieldstones of various sizes. The wall was apparently intended to mark the boundaries of agricultural plots.

 

Animal pen (F95). This is a small, ovoid structure (L30; 2 × 5 m; Figs. 17, 18) built of one row of large stones set on a thin layer of clayey soil that covered the bedrock. The western part of the structure, which did not survive, may have contained an opening. The structure was apparently a small animal pen.

 

Filed tower (F100). This is a small, round structure (L34; diam. c. 2.5 m, preserved height c. 0.9 m; Figs. 19, 20) built of large fieldstones. Collapsed stones found in and around the structure indicate that it was originally higher. No opening to the structure was found, suggesting that it was a small filed tower.

 

The excavation’s finds reveal that the area was agricultural, with rock-hewn installations associated with farming. It seems that this was the agricultural hinterland of the ancient settlement of ‘Ara‘ara, which was apparently located south of the excavation area. The pottery finds were very meager, comprising a few body fragments from the Roman and Byzantine periods. Similar finds were unearthed in a burial cave excavated to the south and west. The agricultural installations and the burial caves were apparently in simultaneous use (see e.g, Masarwa 2007)