In October 2013, an excavation was conducted at the Natufian site of ‘Eynan (Permit No. A-6874; map ref. 253848–975/776237–374; Fig. 1), following damage to the northern part of the site, when a fence was constructed around the Mekorot pumping facility there. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Mekorot Company, was directed by H. Khalaily (photography), with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration), D. Avshalom-Gorni and A. Berger.
Eight squares (1601–1607, 1609; 1 × 1 m each) were opened between the fence which was erected around the site and Building 131 (see Fig. 2). The fence damaged the ancient strata into which it was set. The aims of the excavation were to document the destroyed part of the site, salvage the antiquities that were damaged, and sieve the debris from the foundation trench of the fence, in order to date the finds. In addition, Building 131 was cleaned and its perimeter wall was stabilized by reintegrating the stones that had fallen from it (Fig. 3).
The squares were excavated in spits of 5 cm, reaching a maximum depth of 0.4 m below the surface—the elevation of the floor in Building 131. The content was dry- and wet-sieved. Dark-brown clay sediment, which was probably part of the fill from the early phase of the building, was excavated; no wall remains were discovered. The finds included numerous flint items, animal bones, stone objects and shells. Analysis of the flint artifacts shows that they include all the components of the Natufian flint production, including small, partially depleted cores, flakes, numerous bladelets, chips and tools. Very few lunates (average length 1.2 cm) were discovered; the back of most was shaped using Helwan retouch (Fig. 4). The size of the lunates and their retouching technique show them to be of a type which was common in the early phase of the Natufian culture; and the debris from the foundation trench of the fence, as well as the clay sediment should be dated to the Early Natufian culture (12,500–12,000 BCE, calibrated).