In May 2020, a trial excavation was conducted in the Yeroham industrial zone, near Nahal Avnon (Permit No. A-8749; map ref. 194973–155/544300–62; Fig. 1), prior to the construction of a metal recycling plant. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by Elzan Earthmoving and Development Works Ltd., was conducted by L.W. Davis (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Alamor (administration), E. Aladjem (surveying and drone photography), A. Azoulay (drawing), A. Golani (scientific consultation) and laborers from Yeroham.
The excavation (Fig. 2) uncovered two sections of field walls (W100, W104), which probably enclosed an agricultural plot near the stream, and a concentration of large stones (L108). The excavation area had been disturbed by modern activity, and the remains were severely damaged. Fragments of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman pottery were found scattered throughout the area.
The region of Nahal Avnon was first surveyed in 2011 in a development survey prior to the construction of the Dimona–Yeroham railroad line (Shmueli, Aladjem and Radashkovsky 2012). The survey identified 18 points of ancient remains along the stream, comprising mostly agricultural terraces, field walls and architectural features.
Field Wall 100 (length 29 m; Fig. 3; Shmueli, Aladjem and Radashkovsky 2012, Site 30) was built above a pebble conglomerate layer in a northeast–southwest orientation. The wall was composed of medium-sized fieldstones (c. 0.20 × 0.25 m) and small pebbles (c. 0.10 × 0.15 m) and preserved to a height of two courses. Many collapsed sections were observed along its length. The wall continues northeast, possibly forming a corner with another north–south oriented wall; this wall was not excavated (Fig. 2).
Field Wall 104 was built of two rows of small pebbles (0.10 × 0.15 m) and preserved to a height of two courses.
The concentration of large stones (L108; diam. 1.5 m; size of each stone c. 0.25 × 0.30 m) derives from a collapsed field wall, a few sections of which are discernable between the northeastern end of W100 and W104.