Five areas (E–H, J; Fig. 2) were opened in the current excavation, and numerous remains were exposed, dating to four main periods: Early Chalcolithic (Stratum 18), Persian (Stratum 11), Hellenistic (Stratum 10) and Byzantine (Stratum 6), as well as several remains ascribed to the Roman period (Stratum 9). The stratigraphic division is based on that of Getzov from 1991 (Getzov et al. 2009a
The Early Chalcolithic period
(Stratum 18). Early Chalcolithic finds were exposed at a depth of 2.5 m in three squares in Area G and in a probe in Area E. An assortment of installations and a large quantity of pottery were found, including hole-mouth jars with cut-rim and flat base. In addition, numerous strap handles were discovered which are characteristic of the Early Chalcolithic period. Many flint items including sickle blades were also uncovered. The assemblage is exceptional in being highly homogenous, apart from two sherds that were identified in Stratum 19, which are characteristic of the Wadi Rabah culture (Getzov et al 2009a
The Persian period (Stratum 11). This period is mainly represented by pottery and floor levels that were exposed in Areas G and J. Several successive floors were excavated, separated by levels of burning that were clearly visible in the northern section of the squares. A large assemblage of pottery from the late phase of the Persian period (fourth century BCE) was uncovered in situ, on a floor in Area G.
The Hellenistic period (Stratum 10). Several walls that were found in Area F formed a fragmentary plan of a building with rooms in it; a large quantity of loom-weights made of unfired clay was discovered in one of the rooms. Several walls were uncovered in Area G, and the remains of a floor, with many pottery sherds next to it, including a large fragment of a base of a brazier. A number of walls that were exposed in the western part of Area J were probably part of the same structure that was uncovered in Area G, and are indicative of several construction phases during this period. The pottery and coins that were recovered date the stratum to the third century BCE.
The Roman period (Stratum 9). Several fragments of Kefar Hananya pottery ware were found in the excavation areas. Four monumental tombs that were identified in Area F were partly excavated. The tombs were built of kurkar that was probably brought from ‘Akko especially for that purpose. A decorated lead coffin dating to the third century CE was found in one of the was partially opened tombs (Figs. 3–5).
The Byzantine period (Stratum 6). Remains from this period were mainly exposed in Areas E and G. A large building (Fig. 6) was uncovered in Area E, and three building phases were identified in it, dating to the sixth–seventh centuries CE. Walls and floors from each of the phases were exposed. An unusual and rare find was a cylindrical bread seal with a seven-branch candelabrum on one end, and Greek letters, possibly forming the name 'Leontios' (Fig. 7), engraved on the other. Three construction phases were also identified in Area G, in two architectural complexes. The first phase was detected only in the western part of the area, and the second phase in the center. In the eastern part of the area, sections of a large oil press (Fig 8) were exposed, including three press-bases with a central collecting vat, and one weight. Preliminary analysis of the oil press suggests that the weight and the northern vat constituted a single system. The oil press probably belonged to the third and final phase of the Byzantine period at the site.
The excavation adds information and fills gaps in the settlement sequence which is known from previous excavations at the site. Of the 21 strata that were previously recognized, remains of five were found, from the Chalcolithic, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. All strata, with the exception of the Roman one, yielded a wide assortment of artifacts, both architectural and pottery, as well as small finds. Especially noteworthy are the finds from the last phase of the Byzantine period, which was not represented in the previous excavations.