In June 2018, a salvage excavation was conducted on the bank of Nahal Be’er Sheva‘ near Kibbutz Hazerim (Permit No. A-8310; map. ref 175654–6099/570978–1266; Fig. 1), ahead of the installation of an electric pole. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Israel Electric Corporation, was directed by A. Rasiuk (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Alamor )administration), A. Aladjem (aerial photography and surveying), I.E. Delerson (drafting), S. Talis and workers from ‘Ar‘ara.
Previous surveys in the vicinity of the excavation identified remains of a farm, as well as a tower and a scattering of stones and sherds from the Byzantine period (Shemesh 2018: Site 293). An excavation c. 1.5 km southwest of the site yielded remains of a settlement from the Iron Age IIA (Talis 2015), and another, c. 1 km further south, yielded a round structure dated to the Byzantine period (Varga and Krokhmalnik 2009).
One excavation square was opened at the top of a moderate hill, at the southwest edge of a spur; the site overlooks Nahal Be’er Sheva‘ to the southwest.
The excavation square yielded a collapse of limestones building blocks (L102; Fig. 2) that lay on natural loess soil; some of the stones were partially worked, but the collapse was devoid of artifacts, as was the rest of the square. An area abutting the excavation square where numerous stones could be seen on the surface (L104)—apparently the remains of a wall—was cleared.
The remains of an east–west wall (W101; length c. 12 m; Fig. 3) could be discerned c. 5 m north of the excavation square. Down the slope to its north were a few body fragments of Black Gaza Ware vessels from the Ottoman period. Another wall was identified on the edge of the hill, c. 8 m southwest of the excavation square. Remains of a quadrangular structure were observed on the surface farther along the spur to the northeast, c. 50 m from the excavation square. Near it were numerous sherds, probably from the Byzantine period. These scant building remains seem to belong to a settlement dating from the Byzantine period.