In January–February 2015, a trial excavation was conducted along the southern margin of Highway 70, c. 100 m northwest of Tel Regev cemetery (Permit No. A-7324; map ref. 211719–878/741794–936), prior to construction along the road. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Authority Antiquities and financed by the Cross-Israel Highway Company, Ltd., was directed by D. Kirzner (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Amrani and E. Bachar (administration), M. Hater, E. Shukron and A.S. Sa‘id (preliminary inspections), R. Mishayev and R. Liran (surveying and drafting), A. Padida (field photography), P. Gendelman (pottery reading and identification of stone objects), as well as K. Sa‘id and L. Talmi.
Winepress 1 (L107; Figs. 3, 4) was a simple installation with a rectangular treading floor (L108; 3.0 × 3.6 m) whose walls (height 0.05–0.10 m) were partly preserved. A hewn pit for collecting the grape pulp (L115) was set in the eastern part of the treading floor, and a conical cupmark (L114) was—in the center of the western wall. A rectangular collecting vat (L109; 0.45 × 0.95 m, depth 0.6 m), whose northern wall and floor did not survive, was found to the north of the treading floor. The must flowed to the collecting vat through a hewn opening in the northern wall of the treading floor. A large natural pit (L110) was unearthed in the western part of the winepress.
Winepress 2 (L100; 15 × 25 m; Figs. 5–7) was a complex installation that included several treading floors, work surfaces, collecting vats, a pit for securing a press screw and cupmarks. In the northwestern part of the winepress was a rectangular treading floor (L101) whose walls (height 0.05–0.10 m) were partially preserved. An elliptical pit for securing a screw (L116; depth 0.8 m) and a pit in which the grape pulp was collected (L122) were hewn in it. A trough-shaped cupmark (L123) was hewn in the northwestern wall. South of the treading floor was a rectangular collecting vat (L102; depth 0.6 m) that shared its southeastern wall with another treading floor (L103); that floor was rectangular, and its walls (height 0.05–0.20 m) were partially preserved. In the center of that floor was a hewn pit used for collecting the grape pulp (L119). A shallow rock-hewn channel extended from the pit, and conveyed the must to a rectangular collecting vat (L104; depth 0.4 m). A settling pit (L118) was hewn in the centre of the collecting vat. The hewn remains of a work surface (L117) were revealed north of the collecting vat. North of the surface was another work surface (L105), of which only the southwestern part survived (L124). A leveled bedrock surface (L126) with a cupmark (L127) in its center was unearthed c. 4 m southeast of the collecting vat. A square collecting vat (L128; 1.3 × 1.3 m, depth 1 m) was exposed c. 3 m southeast of the leveled bedrock surface. A settling pit (L131) was hewn in the vat’s floor, and two steps (L132) were hewn in the vat’s northwestern corner. Southwest of the collecting vat was a shallow elliptical pit (L106) that may have been used for extracting the must. Two cupmarks (L120, L121) were hewn east of the collecting vat.
Winepress 3 (L111; Figs. 8, 9) was a simple installation with a rectangular treading floor (L112; 2.3 × 2.7 m), whose walls (height 5 cm) were partly preserved. A hewn channel led from the treading floor to a rectangular collecting vat (L113; 1.2 × 1.6 m, depth 0.9 m); its northeastern wall was not preserved.
Several abraded pottery sheds from the Late Roman period or the Early Byzantine period (fourth–fifth centuries CE) were found. These include part of a cooking pot rim that was found in the collecting vat of Winepress 2 (L104; Fig. 10).
The excavation revealed that this agricultural and industrial area specialed in wine production during the Late Roman and Early Byzantine periods