Chalcolithic Period – Early Bronze Age. An elongated, oval basalt sling stone, similar to items from the end of the Neolithic and the early Chalcolithic periods (Wadi Rabah culture) was found. In addition, a small assemblage of flint artifacts was discovered. It contained flakes and chunks, and a Canaanean sickle blade made of non-local flint, with a trapezoidal cross-section typical to artifacts from the area. Similar blades were used from the Chalcolithic period to the Intermediate Bronze Age. Several ancient pottery sherds were also discovered. Only one fragment was identified, from the Intermediate Bronze Age. These finds testify to a settlement that existed at Meron during these periods, outside the baundaries of the excavation.
The Roman Period: The Early Phase (second–third centuries CE). Part of a building whose floor was founded on smoothed rock was exposed in the middle of the excavation (Fig. 1). The walls, on the south and west, were built on a thin layer of terra rosa, and survived to a height of two courses. Inside the building, a burnt level was excavated, containing remains of charcoal and organic material, fragments of walnuts, and sherds of locally produced pottery, some of types known from Kefar Hananya, and others of a type identified with the Galilean Coarse Ware (GCW). Fragments of glassware, part of a metal-ware handle, and several coins that have not yet been identified were also discovered. Above the burnt level, a level of collapse reached to above the tops of the building’s walls. In it was a fragment of a large stone basin.
Roman Period: The Late Phase (fourth century CE). A stone staircase aligned east–west and delimited by wide stone walls, was excavated in the southern part of the excavation (Fig. 2). A wall that survived to a maximum height of eight courses above the bedrock was exposed north of the staircase. Collapsed building stones, medium and large, as well as fragments of white plaster, were documented during the excavation of the accumulations above the staircase, and several coins were discovered, but not yet identified. Outside the stone walls that enclosed the staircase, a floor foundation of numerous pottery sherds and small stones was found. To the north, a rectangular room enclosed by walls on the north, east and west was partially exposed (Fig. 3). The western wall was meticulously built of large stones, and survived to a height of three courses. The walls in the east and north were constructed of small and medium stones bonded with mortar and soil. All the walls were founded on the level of walls and collapse of the early phase. A fill rich in pottery, small stones and animal bones was excavated inside the building. A hoard of c. 20 bronze coins whose size and shape are characteristic of the city-coins of the second–third centuries CE, was discovered in the center of the building. Approximately forty other coins were found in a more extensive scatter within this level, and those that have been identified were dated to the fourth century CE. A stone heap next to the western wall of the room, covered the opening to an underground space that was not excavated. Walls founded on the bedrock, which survived to a maximum height of four courses, were partially exposed north of the building. They were severed by a late disturbance in the east, which was partly documented and excavated, to below the building foundations. Dozens of medium and large building stones, some of them ashlars and some roughly dressed, were documented, as well as later fill. It is possible that these were the remains of a cave that had collapsed, or the result of some other later activity. Nearby, tops of walls that were built of dressed stones, some of them ashlars, were exposed. Their orientation and construction method indicate a connection to nearby complexes. The finds from the excavation of this phase included two coin hoards, pottery fragments of various Kefar Hananya types, and sherds of coarse, locally manufactured pottery characteristic of the Galilee, which included evidence to production at the site (kiln debris). Several basalt groundstones, pieces of glassware and metal objects were also found.
Remains of at least one residential structure from the Roman period were exposed. The location of the excavation extends the area of the site at Meron to the southeastern slope of the hill with the synagogue at the top. The building that was uncovered probably dates to Strata III-IV at the site according to Meyers' chronology (Meyers, Strange and Meyers 1981
: xviii). The ceramics recovered from the burnt level, especially the Type E1 vessels that are characteristic of the production center at Kefar H
ananya, indicate that the early phase of the building dates to the third century CE. However, vessels similar to Types B3 and B4 at Kefar H
ananya were also found, making it possible to bring the date forward to the second century CE. The late phase in the building apparently dates to the fourth century CE (end of Stratum IV). The excavation finds and their dating extend our knowledge of Meron in the Roman period.