The excavation completed the exposure of a previously excavated cluster of remains (Landes-Nagar 2008; Milevski and Barzilai 2011; Fig. 2): Chalcolithic finds with no associated architectural remains, a hewn winepress from the Byzantine period and a terrace from the Ottoman period.
The current excavation uncovered remains belonging to two phases of construction. The early phase, which is the main one, included remains of an installation and a wall from the Byzantine period—the continuation of the winepress excavated in the past. The later phase included remains of walls built over a time during the Byzantine and the Early Islamic periods. Also uncovered were several sherds, flint tools, flakes and debitage from the Chalcolithic period, which like the finds from the previous excavation attest to a large Chalcolithic site nearby, probably upslope from the excavation.
The early phase yielded a rock-cut installation (L112) and a broad wall (W2; Fig. 3) built of large dressed stones—both likely part of the winepress complex uncovered in the past. In the soil fill that covered the remains were sherds that date from the sixth–eighth centuries CE (see Fig. 6). A copper needle (?; Fig. 4) and two small coins too poorly preserved to identify were also found.
Late phase. Two walls (W1, W3; Fig. 5) were built above a leveled fill: Wall 1 was of medium-sized dressed stones and fieldstones, and its northern face appears to have been damaged; Wall 3 was of medium-sized fieldstones. Mixed finds (not drawn) dated to the Chalcolithic, Byzantine and Early Islamic periods were discovered in the fill covering the remains.
Benjamin J. Dolinka
The pottery came from disturbed and mixed fill contexts. The pottery is poorly preserved and includes Early Roman cooking pots with a triangular rim, as well as Late Roman bowls (not drawn). Most of finds date from the late Byzantine and Early Islamic periods (sixth to ninth centuries CE) and include bowls, basins and a lamp typical of these periods. All vessels in this assemblage were locally made and characterized by a yellowish or yellow-red fabric with calcite inclusions. The so-called Fine Byzantine Ware bowls, characteristic of Early Islamic corpora, are found in this assemblage, and include a deep bowl with extremely thin walls dated to the eighth–ninth centuries (Fig. 6:1; Magness 1993: Form 1E). This bowl lacks the typical decoration of an incised wavy line, but it is painted instead with a reddish hue. Also found were three bowls resembling the Jerusalem Rouletted Bowls (Magness 1993: Form 4) but lacking the rouletted decoration; two (Fig. 6:2, 3) have the common folded rim, and the third (Fig. 6:6) has a thickened and flattened rim. The bowl in Fig. 6:4 is a local imitation of PRSW (LRC Form 3). Although it is missing the dark red slip of the authentic PRSW, it has three rouletted lines around the rim, which are characteristic of this type. Also found were two basins (Fig. 6:7, 8) and a large candlestick lamp (Fig. 6:9; Magness 1993: Form 3A), which was produced from the mid-sixth century through the beginning of the eighth century CE. The assemblage is characteristic of the Jerusalem region during the late Byzantine and the Early Islamic period.
The installation and wall that were uncovered probably belonged to the winepress complex excavated in the past at the site of ‘Ein el-Ḥanniya, on the other side of Nahal Refa’im. The date of a later construction phase could not be determined. The Chalcolithic finds at the site indicate the nearby presence of an unknown site from this period.