In June 2015, a salvage excavation was conducted at Nein (Permit No. A-7438; map ref. 233092–135/725939–80), following the submission of building plans and the discovery of antiquities in trial trenches. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by O. Zidan (photography), with the assistance of R. Mishayev and M. Kahan (surveying), H. Tahan-Rosen (pottery drawing), Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration) and laborers from Kafr Manda.
The village of Nein is in the southeastern part of the Jezreel Valley, on the northern slope of Giv‘at Ha-More, c. 2 km north of ‘Afula ‘Illit (Fig. 1). Numerous excavations in the village uncovered occupation levels from the Intermediate Bronze Age, a hiding refuge from the Roman period, winepresses from the Byzantine period and architectural remains from the Early Islamic, Crusader, Mamluk and Ottoman periods (Abu Zidan 2014
) were exposed.
The current excavation (50 sq m) exposed a retaining wall, which dates to the Byzantine period.
The retaining wall (W10; exposed length 15 m, width 1 m), which was preserved to a height of one course, was founded on sterile, light-brown soil, and built of large limestone boulders on an east–west axis (Figs. 2, 3). A layer of dark-brown alluvium (L11–L14) was excavated along the wall. It contained a large quantity of small fieldstones (Fig. 4) and several pottery sherds, including a cooking pot from the Byzantine period (Fig. 5:1) and a jar from the Roman period (Fig. 5:2).
The retaining wall was constructed to prevent the soil from washing down to the cultivated plots on the slopes of Giv‘at Ha-More.
The finds testify to an agricultural area, which apparently dates to the Byzantine period.