During July 2011, an excavation was conducted in Shoham (Permit No. A-6236; map ref. 19526–40/65736–48; Fig. 1), prior to the construction of a new neighborhood. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Shoham Local Council, was directed by F. Volynsky, with the assistance of Y. Amrani and E. Bachar (administration), R. Mishayev and M. Kahan (surveying and drafting), H. Ben-Ari (GPS), A. Peretz (field photography) and A. Shadman of the IAA Central Region.
On the hilltop and its slopes in the southern part of the site, c. 500 m south of the current excavation area, previous excavations had been conducted, in which dwellings, public buildings, olive presses, winepresses, terraces and installations from the Hellenistic, Early Roman, Byzantine and Late Islamic periods were revealed, and potsherds and finds ascribed to the Chalcolithic, Early Bronze, Iron and Persian periods were discovered (ESI 15:63–64; HA-ESI 111:44*; Permit Nos. A-2019, A-2779). Remains on the hilltop included terraces dating to the Hellenistic period, a complex of rooms built around agricultural installations, remains of dwellings from the Hellenistic or Early Roman periods that were also used in the Byzantine period, a Byzantine winepress and a building next to a cistern (Permit No. A-4769), and also an underground complex and remains of an installation from the Early Roman period, a ritual bath with a stepped entrance, and signs of rock-cuttings (Permit No. A-5942). Underground burial complexes dating to the Chalcolithic period were discovered adjacent to the site, at the Shoham North site (IAA Reports 27; Permit Nos. A-2148, A-2338).
Four excavation squares were opened in three areas (A–C).
Area A (Fig. 2). A quarry (L101) was excavated; its southern side was curved (diam. c. 2 m, depth c. 1 m), suggesting that a roll-stone intended for a burial cave or an installation, such as an olive press, was hewn there. Non-diagnostic potsherds were exposed in the fill inside the quarry.
Area B (Fig. 3). A farming terrace (L102; exposed length c. 27 m) was revealed c. 200 m east of Area A, in an area that descends gently toward the west. The terrace, aligned north–south and preserved three courses high, was built of large fieldstones (0.2–0.6 m) and small fieldstones. Two squares were opened next to the terrace and it was ascertained that the terrace was founded on dark brown clayey soil.
Worn potsherds that dated to the Byzantine period were exposed next to the terrace and between the stones. Although these finds are insufficient to date the construction of the terrace, it joins other farming terraces located in the immediate vicinity that are apparently connected to the Byzantine settlement.
Area C. Several large scattered fieldstones (0.2–0.6 m) were exposed c. 300 m south of Area B. Potsherds dating to the Byzantine period were discovered between them.
The small finds recovered from the excavation were poorly preserved and therefore not illustrated.
A section of the agricultural hinterland of Shoham was exposed in the excavation. Based on past excavations and the few potsherds discovered, it might date to the Byzantine period. The farming terraces show that the region was extensively cultivated. The excavated quarry is part of an array of quarries that were exposed in the region, probably due to the quality of the bedrock.