In November 2016, a community excavation was conducted near Khirbat Bulei‘is (Permit No. A-7697; map ref. No. 185068–433/551352–757; Fig. 1). The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was conducted by M.D. Pasternak (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Alamor (administration), A. Tamir and L. Davis (guidance) and Y. Chimi and Y. Abadi-Reiss (consultation).
The excavation took place in a tributary of Nahal Seker, c. 100 m west of Khirbat Bulei‘is. Archaeological surveys and excavations were conducted in and around Nahal Sekher, and the remains of an animal pen and installations from the Early and Middle Bronze Ages (Haimi 2013) and the remains of buildings, a columbarium, agricultural terraces and installations from the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods were exposed (Haimi 2011; Peretz and Shaul 2011).
A terrace retaining wall (length 10 m, height 1.65 m; Fig. 2) built of flint stones of various sizes was exposed. Large stones identified in the southern part of the retaining wall (Fig. 3) were probably dismantled from a nearby oval structure, which was cut by the retaining wall. The structure’s wall (max. diam. 25 m) was built of two rows of stones with a fill of earth between them (fill width 0.7 m; Fig. 4). A small room (2 × 3 m; Fig. 5), whose walls were built of medium-sized flint stones was exposed immediately to the east of the structure. The walls of the structure collapsed inwards and soil (thickness c. 5 cm) accumulated above them. No datable finds were discovered.
It seems that the structure was used as an animal pen, and after it had gone out of use it was dismantled and its stones were used to build the terrace’s retaining. These remains are evidence of ancient agricultural activity.
Haimi Y. 2013. Kh. Bulei‘is, Survey of Nah
al Sekher. HA-ESI 125
Peretz I. and Shaul N. 2011. Khirbat Bulei‘is. HA-ESI 123