In July 2013, a salvage excavation was conducted in the northeastern part of Ibthan village (Permit No. A-6867; map ref. 204712–29/697145–62), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by Mr. Z. Abu Raqiya, was directed by D. Masarwa (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), R. Mishayev (surveying and drafting), C. Ben-Ari (GPS), P. Gendelman (ceramics) and M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing).
One square was opened. The remains of an isolated building that had been discovered in trial trenches preceding the excavation were documented. Three strata (I–III; Fig. 1) dating to the Roman period were identified.
Stratum III. Part of a building-stone quarry was unearthed in western part of the square; it extended eastward (L109; Fig. 2).
Stratum II. A massive wall (W107) was exposed. The wall abutted the southern side of another wall (W101; Fig. 3), and together they formed the corner of a building. The walls were constructed of large, roughly hewn fieldstones, among which were incorporated smaller fieldstones. Pottery sherds dating to the Early Roman period were found, including cooking pots (Fig. 4:1, 2), a bag-shaped jar (Fig. 4:3) and a jug (Fig. 4:4).
Stratum I comprises the remains of a building dating to the Late Roman period (Fig. 5). The structure was rectangular. Its walls (W102–W104) were built of small and medium fieldstones. The building was apparently associated with a plaster floor (L105), only a small part of which survived; it was unearthed in the western part of the structure, overlaying W107 of Stratum II (Fig. 1: Section 1–1). Pottery sherds dating to the Late Roman period, including a jar (Fig. 4:5), were recovered from below the floor.
No other remains were found in the trial trenches that were dug in the vicinity, and it therefore seems that this is an isolated structure. To the north extends a flat, open farmland, suggesting the building was used for storage.