Three areas were opened (A–C; Figs. 2, 3)
Area A. A series of collecting vats that were part of a large public winepress dating to the Byzantine period (fourth–fifth centuries CE; the building, below; 4.5×7.0 m; Fig. 2: J5, K5–K7, L5–L7; Figs. 4–6) and a refuse pit from the Byzantine period were exposed (Fig. 2: N12).
The treading floor of the winepress was probably located to the east, but was not preserved (for a similar winepress, see ESI 20:84, Fig. 117). The walls of the building (W113–W115, W158) had mostly survived to the height of their foundation course and were constructed from small fieldstones bonded with light gray mortar. The foundations were dug into the red hamra soil that is characteristic of the site and devoid of finds. The corners of the building were partly preserved, except for the northwestern corner, which is missing probably due to damage caused by tree roots. The winepress had two phases that were exposed in its floor section (1×1 m); an early phase with a poorly preserved white industrial mosaic floor (F160; depth c. 7 cm beneath the later floor; Fig. 7) and a later phase in which repairs were made and the floor was raised (F141). Floor remains from the early phase were also found in the southern part of the building. A shallow rectangular niche (L136; 0.8×1.0 m, depth c. 0.3 m) whose floor was not preserved was also ascribed to the early phase. The eastern wall of the niche was part of W115 whose western side was coated with light pink hydraulic plaster. Inside the niche was a built pillar that is attributed to the later phase of the winepress. A square settling pit (L126, L132; 1.5×1.5 m, depth c. 1 m; Fig. 8) was located 0.8 m south of the niche. Its sides were embedded with potsherds, mainly body fragments of jars, which served as a base for plaster that did not survive. The eastern side of the settling pit was adjacent to a pillar in the later phase, whose function is unclear. The settling pit had a white plaster floor, in which a small probe (L146) was excavated and revealed a foundation of small fieldstones and dark muddy earth below. A circular collecting vat (L156; diam. c. 2.5 m) paved entirely with a well-preserved white industrial mosaic was located 0.8 m south of Settling Pit 126. The floor of the collecting vat sloped steeply from the sides of the installation and gently toward a sump (diam. 0.3 m) that was located slightly to the west of its center (Fig. 9). A semi-circular pillar (L159), built of small and medium fieldstones and preserved three courses high, was set in the northern part of the collecting vat; it was probably part of the steps that led to the collecting vat. Remains of a plastered gutter, which led from the surface of the vat to the height of the pillar at its eastern part, were found above the pillar (Fig. 5: Section 2–2); its lower part was not preserved. The must flowed from the settling pit by way of the gutter to the collecting vat. Part of the mosaic frame that surrounded the collecting vat was exposed in the mosaic floor, above the southern side of the vat (Fig. 10). Another section of the mosaic frame abutted W113. A mosaic floor (max. width 1.5 m) west of the collecting vat had partially reached W113. The floor had settled slightly and was distorted, probably due to shifting ground and roots of vegetation beneath it (Fig. 11). This strip was probably used as a work surface. Pale yellow tesserae, randomly embedded in Mosaic Floor 141 of the later phase of the structure, were discerned. The frame of the mosaic floor that abutted the walls of the building was also visible.
Architectural remains (L147) were exposed c. 2.5 m east of the building, some of which had collapsed; their plan was unclear but the general layout was square. This was probably part of a screw installation used to extract juice from the grape skins in a secondary pressing. It seems that a section of a thick white plaster floor (L101) is all that remained of a floor foundation in the winepress complex that was north of the collecting vat building. Remains of column bases were found c. 1 m north and south of the walls of the collecting vat building. All the bases were built of small fieldstones arranged in a circle around debesh mixed with light gray mortar. The northern base (L161; diam. c. 0.5 m; Fig. 12) was better preserved than the southern base (L122; diam. c. 0.5 m). Wooden posts probably stood on the bases and supported a temporary roof like thatching that shaded the winepress and the workers in it. The ceramic artifacts, dating to the Byzantine period, were mainly found in the fill in the settling pit and collecting vat. Two sherds that dated to earlier periods were found: a jar fragment from the Hellenistic period (Fig. 13:1), dating to the first century BCE and a jug fragment (Fig. 13:2) from the first century CE. These sherds cannot be considered conclusive evidence but since no contemporary sites are known to exist in the region near the winepress, their appearance is important and may indicate the presence of Hellenistic and Early Roman sites nearby that have not yet been discovered. The potsherds from the Byzantine period include those dating to the end of that period, as well as to the Umayyad period. Among the potsherds are imported bowls including two CLR (Fig. 13:3, 4), a single LRC (Fig. 13:5) and a single ARSW with an everted rim (Fig. 13:6), cooking pots (Fig. 13:7, 8), a jug rim with remains of red slip and made of pale pink fabric (Fig. 13:9), dating to the mid-seventh century CE and appearing in the Umayyad period, a jug rim with a handle, upright neck and a rim that slopes down and out (Fig. 13:10), baggy-shaped jars (Fig. 13:11), Gaza jars characteristic of the fourth–fifth century CE, including a rim (Fig. 13:12) and a fragment of the lower body part (Fig. 13:13. In addition, a fragment of an amphora base (Fig. 13:14) was found, as well as a bronze needle above the mosaic floor (L110), at whose end a broken image of a monkey is discernible (Fig. 13:15). 
Sq N12. A refuse pit (L102, L117, L144; 2×3 m; Figs. 14, 15) that was dug into natural hamra soil was exposed c. 25 m north of the building. The pit contained potsherds that dated to the Byzantine period (fourth–early seventh centuries CE), including imported LRC bowls (Fig. 16:1, 2), a LRC Type 10 bowl (Fig. 16:3), a Type 2 krater (Magness 1993:20; Fig. 16: 4), a fry pan (Fig. 16:5), a lid (Fig. 16:6), a cooking pot with a gutter for a lid (Fig. 16:7), a cooking pot with a square folded rim (Fig. 16:8), characteristic of the late sixth–early seventh centuries CE, and numerous fragments of baggy-shaped jars (Fig. 17:1–3), dating to the seventh century CE. In addition, roof tiles (not drawn), several fieldstones and a coin of Constantine I (313–320 CE; IAA 140773) were found.
Area B. Tombs dug in natural hamra soil, without architecture, were discovered during the preliminary inspections; they were not excavated. A half square (P18; Fig. 18) was excavated in the south of the area and a single course of fieldstones (W528; length 2.54 m, width c. 0.4 m), generally aligned north–south, was exposed. Natural hamra soil was discerned east and west of the wall (L527, L526 respectively) and in the eastern part, bones were discovered and covered over, and the excavation was suspended. The stones were probably part of a grave cover that was not preserved.
Area C.  A modern foundation (Figs. 2: J31–J33, 19), composed of a thick layer of hamra and kurkar stones, was exposed in the western part of the area. Part of an intact sarcophagus (W506; Figs. 20, 21) built of dressed limestone without any visible decorations, was exposed in the center of the area (Fig. 2: M31). The northern side was poorly preserved, the eastern side was broken along the upper edge (thickness c. 0.2 m) and the western side was partially concealed beneath the western balk of the square. No lid was discovered. A dressed rectangular stone that was probably used as one of the cover stones was discovered next to the northern side of the sarcophagus. Skull bones and a Late Roman coin (fourth century CE; IAA 140774) were discovered inside the sarcophagus (L511). A human tooth was found outside the sarcophagus, between the cover stone and the western balk. A wall (W504) in the middle of the square that continued into the southern balk of the square was exposed; the wall was built of medium and large flat dressed kurkar stones, without mortar, and was preserved a single course high. Remains of gray plaster mixed with particles of charcoal were found on the stones. Next to the wall, on a lower level, was a concentration of small and medium stones (L530) that were placed along the eastern side of the wall and around its northern end. It seems that these were the foundations of a wall that enclosed the sarcophagus and was partly preserved. Homogenous brown soil fill mixed with sand was found below the stones. Bones were discovered close to the western side of the wall (L513) and skull bones were found in the southeastern corner of the square (L520). The ceramic finds from this square (not drawn) dated to the Byzantine period. A Byzanto-Arab coin (647–658 CE; IAA 140775) was found. The bones were not explored and the excavation in the square was suspended.
The foundation of a poorly preserved wide installation (c. 2×4 m; Figs. 22, 23) was discovered in the east of the area (Fig. 2: U34); it consisted of a cluster of small stones and a plastered section (L529) above them that sloped to the north. The southern side (W512; length 3.3 m, width 0.5 m) was built and survived to four courses high. Black clay soil that served as mortar was inserted between the stones. The plastered section consisted of gray plaster and fragments of shells, and above it was a layer of pink plaster that abutted the southern side (W512). On the basis of the rectangular shape of the installation’s foundation, it was probably used as an industrial pool of some sort with a plaster floor. Several potsherds that dated to the Byzantine period (not drawn) were found.
Gabriela Bijovsky
Ten bronze coins were discovered in the excavation, four of which cannot be identified.
Date CE
Tiberius – Roman procurators in Judea
Surface level
Constantine I
Late Roman
Anastasius I, follis 
Surface level
Ninth century
Surface level
Yael Gorin-Rosen
Twenty-five glass fragments were found in the excavation, of which thirteen body fragments were discarded. Despite the paucity of finds and their poor state of preservation, several types could be identified, dating to the Late Roman and Early Byzantine periods. No finds, predating or postdating this time period, were discovered. The identified finds which were not drawn because of their size and condition include a broadly folded hollow rim of a large bowl that dates to the Early Byzantine period (L142); a solid base fragment of a small cup that is characteristic of the fourth and early fifth centuries CE (L102); a base fragment of a conical cup or small juglet made of a glass disk formed by coiling a thick trail around the base and flattening it, dating to the end of the Late Roman and the Byzantine periods (L505); a folded-in rim of a funnel-like juglet with the beginning of a handle (L110) and the end fragment of a hollow conical lamp dating to the Byzantine period (L102). The material is similar to the glass finds from excavations in the region, e.g., at Khirbat el-Fatuna (HA-ESI 119 : Fig. 3:4, 5, 7–9).
Faunal Remains
Moshe Sadeh
The archaeozoological finds at the site are meager (6 baskets from Loci 132, 150, 524) and dating to the Byzantine period. Those of domestic animals consist of 10 cattle bones (Bos taurus) and four donkey bones. Wild species are represented by a common bivalve shell (Glycymeris violascens).
Breakdown of domesticated animal bones
Type of Bone
Unidentified limb
The finds indicate that cattle and donkeys are represented by a single individual respectively.
A collecting vat structure of a Byzantine winepress was exposed in Area A, in the southern part of the site. Judging by the column bases in the north and south of the structure the winepress was presumably covered. The covering might have been seasonal and shaded the winepress from the heat of the sun. The potsherds recovered from the collecting vat and the settling pit came from fill; most dated to the Late Byzantine period and a few to the Umayyad period. An overwhelming majority of the sherds (90%) are those of sandy-orange baggy-shaped jars and Gaza jars, used to store wine in the Byzantine period, which were probably used in the winepress. The finds from the refuse pit located north of the winepress supports the dating of the site to the Byzantine period.
It is important to note that the collecting vat building closely resembles a similar building that belonged to a public winepress that was excavated at Bet Dagan (ESI 20:84, Fig. 117). Tombs were discovered in Area B, but were not excavated; it is impossible to date them. The in situ sarcophagus in Area C indicates that during a certain phase of the Byzantine period the area north of the winepress was used for burial. If the coin found inside the sarcophagus is of the time of the burial, then the burial presumably dates no earlier than the fourth century CE. The function of the installation located in Sq U34 is unclear.
The excavation contributes to defining two uses of the site: the first is an agricultural hinterland extending up to 400 m south of the intersection of Rothschild and Shprinzak Streets, which complements the finds of winepresses previously excavated in the region. The second use, in part of the area, was for burial; the graves extended through the agricultural hinterland and because they were not excavated, it is impossible to know if they predated, postdated or were contemporary with the activity at the winepress. One question that does remain unanswered is “Where was the Byzantine settlement that cultivated the agricultural hinterland?”