Work at the site was conducted in two areas (2 and 3), c. 30 m distant from each other. Eight adjoining probes (4 × 4 m each) in Area 2 and two adjoining probes (4 × 4 m) in Area 3 were manually excavated. Virgin soil that consisted of a Pleistocene wadi conglomerate, which was composed of well-sorted rounded to sub-rounded limestone and flint pebbles and was visible in a deep cut east of Area 2 at an elevation of 49.24 m above sea level (that is, c. 3 m below present surface), was not reached in either of the two areas. However, the top of this wadi conglomerate was exposed in 2003 in three probes in Area 1 (see HA-ESI 118), situated c. 70 m to the south of Area 2. Various pits in Area 2, as well as in Area 1 of the previous excavation, were cut into virgin alluvial soils that overlaid this wadi conglomerate. These soils were exposed in all probes excavated in Areas 2 and 3 and proved to be devoid of any anthropogenic materials.


A discontinuous spread of medium-sized pebbles (diam. c. 10–12 cm) was encountered in seven of the probes in Areas 2 and 3, between 0.1 to 0.2 m below surface (at c. 51.5 m above sea level). It indicated some kind of a living surface or horizon. Closer investigation showed that five of such pebble spreads were probably the top part of fills in large, oval-shaped pits (length c. 3 m, width 2 m, depth 1.5 m) or, less likely, shallow, natural depressions in the former landscape. The fills of all five pits consisted of large amounts of potsherds, appreciable amounts of animal bones, many of them burned, flints, including waste products, such as chips, chunks and cores, as well as actual tools, foremost denticulated or notched sickle blades and ground stone items. In all levels and at various depths within the pits, pottery and flint items were frequently found deposited in oblique or vertical position, indicating that they were washed into these pits by natural agents (rain and flood waters), after the pits had apparently been abandoned by their original occupants. Support for this hypothesis that these pits had originally served the site’s occupants for domestic purposes and therefore, should not be considered, a priori, as waste pits, derived from the complete excavation of three pits. Pottery was found deposited horizontally at the bottom of two of the pits; certain small finds of clear domestic nature derived only from the last c. 20 cm of the fill in these pits and were absent from the higher up fill levels of these pits. Such finds included perforated sea shells, possibly worn as pendants, perforated, rounded potsherds, possibly used as spindle whorls, ceramic stoppers, which were re-worked from disused potsherds and a single bone awl. At the bottom of one pit, an in situ alignment of several large wadi pebbles, one of which was used as a quern, clearly indicated that this place was used for food preparation, perhaps the grinding of grain. At the bottom of another pit, clear evidence for the deposition of two superimposed layers of some organic material, was found. Its appearance as black lines in the west cross-section of this pit could attest to the presence of reed mats.


The datable artifacts from the upper and lower levels of all pits point to the Wadi Rabah phase of the Early Chalcolithic period. The general character of the finds in Areas 2 and 3 sharply contrasted with those from Area 1, excavated previously (cf. HA-ESI 118). The absence of large pits and the scarcity of pottery and animal bones in Area 1 suggested the area was probably on the margins of the actual settlement, whereas the present findings in Areas 2 and 3, point to the proximity of these areas to the core of a single-period habitation site, which was apparently inhabited above ground, as well as somewhat below it. The habitation was manifested by five large pits, originally used for domestic purposes and later on, when apparently abandoned, were filled with settlement debris, swept in by natural agents and still visible on surface. The animal bones, the ground stone tools and many denticulated sickle blades imply a mixed subsistence of animal husbandry and agriculture at the site.