In August 2014, a five-day salvage excavation took place east of Highway 2, and c. 1.5 km east of Tel Dor (Permit No. A-7190; map ref. 193991–4005/725132–48; Fig. 1), prior to the installation of a cellular antenna. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, and funded by the Partner Communications Company, was directed by S. ‘Abd el-Salam (photography), with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), R. Mishayev (surveying and drafting), P. Gendelman (pottery) and M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing).
Two excavation squares (A1, A2; Fig. 2) were opened in the colluvium soil in the fields of the settlements Naḥsholim and ‘En Ayala, east of the kurkar ridge on which Highway 2 is built. In Sq A1, excavated down to bedrock, no ancient remains were found. In Sq A2, remains of a structure from the Roman period were exposed. The ancient remains lay close to the surface and were consequently seriously damaged by modern-day agricultural activity. Northwest of the excavation, at Horbat Hadarim, settlement remains including installations, tombs and a quarry, as well as sherds from the Hellenistic to the Early Islamic periods, were documented in the Map of Dor Survey (Olami, Sender and Oren 2005: Site 93).
In Sq A2, two walls (W11, W12) forming the northeastern corner of a structure were unearthed (Figs. 3, 4); the walls extended beyond the excavation square. The walls, preserved for two courses, were carelessly built of two rows of ashlars in secondary use, and of various-sized worked stones, interspersed with soil and small-stone fill. The careless construction is evident in the corner of the two walls, which is not at a right angle. Collapsed stones from the walls lay next to the walls. A patch of small fieldstones (L105), abutting the western end of W11 from the south, was possibly a floor or working surface; it was not excavated. No additional remains of flooring were exposed in the square, that was dug down to bedrock (L104).
A few pottery sherds were found in the soil accumulations between and below the fallen stones (L102, L103). The sherds were mainly of a bowl (Fig. 5:1), a cooking pot (Fig. 5:2) and a bag-shaped jar (Fig. 5:3); the pottery is dated to the third–fourth centuries CE.
The careless construction of the walls suggests that the structure was probably not a permanent dwelling, but rather a structure related to agricultural activity that took place at the settlement margins in the Late Roman period. It seems to have been a small building that did not extend over a large area, since no additional remains were found in adjacent Sq A1, or in the vicinity of the excavation, which exhibited bedrock surfaces, with no evidence of walls or rock-cut foundation channels.
Olami Y., Sender S. and Oren E. 2005. Map of Dor (30) (Archaeological Survey of Israel). Jerusalem.