The present excavation was conducted in anticipation of construction work at Giv‘ot ‘Eden. It was preceded by development surveys (Nagorsky 2008; 2010) and trial excavations (Herriott 2012) that, among other things, probed the stone heap reported here (Nagorsky 2008: Site 96; Permit No. A-8471; Fig. 2). The stone heap is located c. 500 m east of the streambed of Naḥal Ha-Ela—an area of rocky outcrops in sprawling alluvial expanses. Throughout history, the region was used for agricultural purposes by local settlements, including Kh. ed-Deir, Ḥorbat Buẓ, Ḥorbat ‘Illit and Ḥorbat ‘Orva. Recently, an excavation was conducted at Ḥorbat ‘Orva (Permit No. A-8682). The entire region was surveyed in the Surif map (Map 108).
The excavation revealed a circular stone heap (c. 13 × 18 m; Figs. 3, 4). It was composed of small fieldstones, some of them burnt, interspersed with potsherds (Fig. 5). The stones were deposited on an accumulation of dark brown soil (L708) that overlayed the rock. A wall (W701; Fig. 6) enclosed most of the stone heap; it was built of large fieldstones, some of which were dressed, and it stood two–three courses high. While the stone heap had a circular plan, its northern face was straight. Here, the enclosing wall (W701) was built of large dressed fieldstones and was preserved to a height of three courses. It superimposed a plain rock-hewn winepress (found in the previous excavation) that consisted of a treading floor (L703; c. 2.0 × 2.5 m) and a collecting vat (L704; 1.0 × 1.4 m, depth 0.8 m). Two rock-hewn cupmarks (Fig. 7) on the southeastern side of the rock surface may be associated with the winepress.
Altogether, three phases were detected: first, the winepress was hewn; next, the enclosing wall (W701) was built over the winepress; and lastly, the stone heap was made.
The pottery assemblage from the stone heap and the soil accumulation below includes typical local Iron Age IIA–C wares that are well-known from adjacent sites in the Judean Shephelah. The assemblage consist of Iron Age IIA red-slipped and horizontally hand-burnished bowls with straight or everted walls and a thickened everted rim (Fig. 8:1, 2), an Iron Age IIB bowl with a thickened incurved rim (Fig. 8:3), an Iron Age IIB hemispheric bowl with an inverted rim (Fig. 8:4), a foot of an  Iron Age IIB chalice/goblet with a thickened everted rim (Fig. 8:5), an Iron Age IIC jug with a thickened straight rim (Fig. 8:6), and an Iron Age IIC juglet with a simple straight rim (Fig. 8:7). The pottery assemblage is characteristic of Iron Age farming communities. However, since it was collected from unsealed loci, it cannot be used to date the stone heap.