The excavations were conducted on the western fringe of orbat Migdal (Khirbat el-Majdal; for background and references, see Masarwa 2016; Ad 2020; Fig. 1). Six areas were opened (AE, P; Fig. 1), revealing remains of a settlement and installations, attributed to seven strata, dating from the Middle-Bronze Age to the Umayyad period (Table 1). In Stratum 6, a continuous settlement from the Iron Age to the Hellenistic period was identified.  
Table 1. The exposed strata
7th8th CE
Late ByzantineEarly Umayyad
6th7th CE
Late Byzantine
6th CE
Late RomanEarly Byzantine
4th5th CE
3rd CE
Iron, Persian, Hellenistic
12th2nd BCE
Middle Bronze IIb
20th15th BCE
Area A
Rock-cut installations, some clustered in groups, were uncovered (Table 2; Fig. 2)
Table 2. Installations in Area A
Shallow, oval channel leading to a cupmark; Iron Age?
F16, F28, F29, F35
Winepress 16, with a plastered treading floor, and white mosaic-covered settling tank and collecting vat; Press 28, with a treading floor and collecting vat; Press 29, with two treading floors and a shared collecting vat; Press 35, with a treading floor, settling tank, collecting vat and fermentation cells, all paved with white mosaic (Fig. 3).
F19, F28, F30, F32F34, F37, F53
Cupmarks 28, 30 and 3234 are narrow and deep and are located near Winepresses 29 and 35; they apparently served for viticulture.
F9, F40
The openings are round and carved, and their outline appears to be bell-shaped; may have been cisterns or entry shafts to MB tombs; not excavated due to safety considerations.
Small quarry
F1, F2, F30F33, F36, F52, F55, F56, F57
Source of building blocks.
Courtyard quarry
F4, F5, F7, F8, F10, F13, F15, F17, F18, F20, F28, F50, F54
Source of building blocks; in Quarries 4 and 5 several quarrying origins were observed.
Unfinished crushing basin of an oil press (Fig. 4).
Burial caves
F3, F24
The caves were found open and robbed, with arched entrances, standing pits and loculi; Cave 24 with an open courtyard and a dromos; Byzantine period?
Water installation
Rock-cut installation, plastered with hydraulic plaster (4 × 6 m; Fig. 5) and a built staircase; east of the installation, four walls demarcate a hewn rock surface, part of which is plastered and may be connected with the installation; Byzantine period.
West of Winepress 35, a mosaic was discovered with a four-line Greek inscription, identified by L. Di Segni as Samaritan, and dated to the early fifth century CE. In Installation 39, four intact Samaritan oil lamps were found, dating from the sixthseventh centuries CE. This installation is adjacent to Burial Cave 24 and may have served as a miqveh.
Area B
Quarries and rock-cut cisterns were uncovered (Table 3).
Table 3. Installations in Area B
Varying sizes; two are of the courtyard type (Fig. 6) and one is shallow.
Water cistern
Round opening; perhaps stairs; round internal space (diam. c. 7.5 m) with traces of plaster; not excavated due to safety considerations.
Area C
The area is spread over a high rock terrace, with building remains and installations in several strata.
The Middle Bronze Age IIb (Stratum 7). Several living surfaces, including beaten earth floors and oval stone clusters, were identified in the southwestern part of the area.
The Iron Age to the early Hellenistic period (Stratum 6). Part of a settlement was exposed, bordered on the east, west and south by walls, constructed of medium-sized field stones; the northern wall may be outside of the excavation limits. A large domestic dwelling was excavated in the eastern part of the area, with a large courtyard bounded on the north by a row of rooms. Another structure was found north of this dwelling, most of which is outside of the excavation limits. In the northwestern part of the area, a residential unit was exposed, which comprises at least four rooms and a rock-cut courtyard. In the courtyard were several small, hewn oil presses of a type characteristic of the Iron Age (Fig. 7). In the center of the western part of the area, a square structure was found, its walls constructed of two rows of boulders: perhaps a fort or defensive tower. Below its floor, potsherds dating from the late eighth or early seventh century BCE were found, suggesting that the structure was an Assyrian road fort. Several clusters of cupmarks and basins, cut into the exposed rock, were found as well.
The Roman Period (Stratum 5). In the center of the area, a rock-cut tomb system was found, comprising two separate tombs: a southern arcosolium tomb and a northern tomb with two loculi to the east of a standing pit. Within the system, Samaritan lamps dating from the third century CE were found, as well as wall foundations, constructed of medium-sized stones.
The Late RomanEarly Byzantine Period (Stratum 4). A long and narrow architectural unit was exposed, oriented north-south on a rock terrace. The unit comprised two long walls that enclose a system of lateral walls, creating together rooms of an irregular layout. Some of the walls were built over earlier walls from Stratum 5, but with smaller stones.
The Late Byzantine Period (Stratum 3). A pottery kiln (Fig. 8) and an installation of unknown function were excavated. After it fell out of use, the installation was converted into a refuse pit. Five water cisterns were also uncovered; some were only partly excavated or not at all, due to safety considerations. Some of the cisterns are with a hewn opening, and others utilize a natural crack as the opening. Some cisterns were converted into refuse pits that yielded Byzantine potsherds.
Area D
Two squares were opened, revealing the two upper courses of two walls and a layer of small stones and gray earth. It seems that the walls continue deeper, but the excavation was not continued in this area. Next to the walls, Roman and Byzantine pottery was collected.
Area E
Four strata were identified, including remains that indicate that this was an industrial area (Fig. 9). The earliest stratum was identified in the western part of the area, as a large courtyard quarry that cannot be dated.
The Late RomanEarly Byzantine Period (Stratum 4). A rock-cut and plastered water reservoir (6 × 12 m; depth over 5 m) was uncovered, but not excavated down to its bottom due to safety considerations. A descent ramp was hewn next to the western and northern walls of the reservoir, and in the southeastern corner an oval pool (diam. 2.5 m) was cut in the rock. To the north and adjacent to the reservoir, a miqveh (1.7 × 3.0 m, depth 1.8 m) was found, its lower part rock-cut and its upper part built. Three of the miqveh's steps were also preserved, with two coats of pinkish plaster.
The Late Byzantine Period (Stratum 3). The water reservoir from the previous stratum continued in use, its upper part raised with construction. North of it, a channel was built, its infrastructure canceling the miqveh. A terra cotta pipe was laid in the channel, embedded in a matrix of stones and mortar (debesh) and was covered with medium-sized flat stones. The pool from Stratum 4 was partly damaged by the raising of the upper part of the cistern and appears to have ceased to function. Three adjacent rooms were built west of the reservoir, preserving traces of pink plaster that covered the walls. The central room was paved with large stones. The plaster on the walls indicates that the rooms served an industrial purpose connected with water. A rock-cut, plastered installation (depth 4.2 m) was found adjacent to the eastern side of the southern room.
The Late ByzantineUmayyad Periods (Strata 2, 1). The rock-cut, plastered installation next to the Stratum 3 structure was converted into a refuse pit, which yielded potsherds and wasters from the pottery kiln in Area P (below). Most of the pottery dates from the Byzantine period, and a small part from the Umayyad period. A massive wall (length c. 20 m) was built south of the rooms from Stratum 3, its southern part abutting a road at right angles (see Area P). The wall canceled part of the structures from earlier periods.
Area P
The area was divided into two sub-areas (Fig. 10). On the eastern side, remains of a built industrial winepress were found, including parts of a collecting vat and a treading floor that were damaged by the construction of Road 5533. Several construction stages were observed in the press; the finds date mostly from the fifthsixth centuries CE. On the western side (Fig. 11), several strata were exposed (below). Between the two sub-areas, two quarries and a subterranean space were uncovered. A further subterranean space was uncovered adjacent to the western kiln in Stratum 3 (below). These spaces were not excavated due to safety considerations.
The Late RomanEarly Byzantine Period (Stratum 4). Scattered building remains were identified (Fig. 11), including an ashlar-built wall with two integrated pillars and a large threshold; steps constructed of hewn stones approached the wall. West of the wall, two large rooms were exposed, which form part of an architectural complex that was damaged by later construction.
The Late Byzantine Period (Stratum 3). Three pottery kilns were found. Next to the central kiln, a large quantity of Samaritan lamps dating from the fifthsixth centuries, probably made in the adjacent kiln, were found in a refuse pit. To the south of the southern kiln, an irregular architectural complex was excavated. Its walls are leaning and not straight. The northern and western walls were constructed as a casting of small stones embedded in mortar. The eastern and southern walls were constructed of medium-sized stones and ashlars. It is possible that the inclination of the walls is due to earthquakes in the course of the sixth century CE. The western kiln was built in a corner formed by two long walls, in one of which a large threshold is integrated. The kiln canceled the buildings from Stratum 4.
The Late ByzantineEarly Umayyad Period (Stratum 2). The eastern pottery kiln was converted into a limekiln and the other kilns were canceled and filled with collapsed stones. Above this leveled stone fill, an ancient road was found (width 3 m) in a general east-west alignment, bordered on either side with stones. The road was laid from layers of compacted earth. The eastern end of the exposed segment of the road turns sharply southwest. The preservation of the northern edge of the road is poor; it was damaged by the construction of Road 5533.
The Umayyad Period (Stratum 1). A wall from this period abuts the northern edge of the road at right angles.
In Areas A and B, remains of agricultural or industrial activity and burial caves were identified, evidence of the extent of the settlement in the Byzantine period and its hinterland. In the other areas, remains of a small settlement or large farmstead were exposed, which existed continuously from the Iron Age to the Hellenistic period. The Assyrian fort (seventh century BCE) joins a known system of such forts, built along the main road that apparently lay on the route of Road 444 or Highway 6, and which were part of the agricultural supply line to the south of the country, interspersed with military outposts. The site seems to have existed until the early Hellenistic period. In the Hasmonean period, a settlement was apparently founded in a higher area of the site. No built remains of this settlement were found, only potsherds and coins that were washed down the slope into the excavation area. This finding fits with the findings of previous excavations on the higher part of orbat Migdal (Ayalon 2002). Beginning in the third century CE, Samaritans inhabited the site, as shown by an inscription found in the synagogue and the inscription found near Winepress 35. The Samaritan lamps found in the tombs in Area C further corroborate this, and it seems that Samaritans continued to inhabit the site also in the following centuries. The tomb complex was canceled by a domestic or industrial building that was built close to it and dated to the fourthfifth centuries CE; it seems that what had been the periphery of the settlement, was now built-up. In the sixth century CE, the area became peripheral again. Over the remains of the buildings, four pottery kilns were built, in which mostly jars were manufactured, for storage and transport of wine and oil that were apparently produced at the site in great quantities. One of the kilns apparently also produced lamps, on evidence of the large quantity of Samaritan lamps found next to it. In the course of the sixth century CE, following the Samaritan revolts, most Samaritans converted to Christianity and the synagogue in the high part of the site was turned into a church. Evidence of this course of events was found in the present excavations as wellthe miqveh that was canceled by a water system built over it. At the end of the sixth century, the industrial area with the pottery kilns went out of use, and a wide road was laid over its walls and installations. Previous excavations at the western edge of the site (Ad 2020), exposed further segments of this road, as well as a fork leading off to north, toward present-day Taiyiba. The fork was identified in Area E, where it cancels all the Byzantine remains. These excavations expand considerably our knowledge about the extent of the remains, especially the remains of the settlement and its industries throughout the occupation periods of the site, and about aspects of Samaritan industry, agriculture, and burial.