In December 2019, a salvage excavation was conducted in the north of Modi‘in (Permit No. A-8626; map ref. 199368–426/647734–87), prior to construction work. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by Rashal Initiation and Assets Management Ltd., was directed by V. Eshed, with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), I. Jonish (surveying and field photography) and Y. Gomani (drafting).
The excavation, conducted near Horbat Zekharya and Horbat Kelah (Bouchenino 2018; Oren 2019; and see background and references there; Fig. 1), unearthed bodedot (simple rock-cut field presses for oil or wine), cupmarks, field walls, a stone-clearance heap, a cistern (?) and a shaft, all associated with the agricultural hinterland of the nearby settlements. A few potsherds from the surface, unrelated to the ancient remains, date from the Roman and Byzantine periods (not drawn).
Bodedot. Three rock-hewn bodedot (L100, L101, L110; Fig. 2) were used to press small quantities of agricultural produce. Bodedot 100 and 110 had a small, sandal-shaped treading floor, a settling pit and a collecting vat (Figs. 3, 4). Bodeda 100 had a square, finely hewn settling pit and Bodeda 110 had an oval settling pit. Bodeda 101 had a treading floor from which a channel led to a collecting vat with a shallow settling pit at the bottom.
Cupmarks. Two cupmarks (L102, L104; Fig. 5), hewn in separate boulders were documented, as well as two clusters of cupmarks of different sizes (L103, L115; Figs. 6, 7) that were cut into the same rock surface.
Field walls. Two field walls (W107, W108; c. 6 m and 5 m long respectively; Fig. 8) were built of large stones arranged on the rock and preserved to the height of a single course.
Stone-clearance heap. A heap of small and large fieldstones (L109; diam. c. 6 m; Fig. 9) was piled on bedrock.
Cistern (?). A round mouth of a hewn pit was found (L111; diam. c. 0.7 m, excavated depth 1 m; Fig 10); it was not fully excavated. The bell-shaped pit appeared to widen downward; it may have been a water cistern.
Shaft. A rectangular shaft hewn in bedrock (L112; 0.65 × 1.15 m, depth 1.2 m; Fig. 11), its lower part expanding to the north and south; it was not fully excavated. A small stone mortar (diam. c. 0.1 m; Fig. 12) was recovered from the fill excavated from the shaft.