During February–March 2012, a salvage excavation was conducted south of Ramla and north of Moshav Mazliah (Permit No. A-6436; map ref. 187510–95/646992–7110; Fig. 1), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Prashkovsky Investments and Construction Company, Ltd., was directed by E. Oren, with the assistance of Y. Amrani and E. Bachar (administration), V. Essman (surveying and drafting), A. Peretz (field photography), P. Gendelman (ceramics) and M. Shuiskaya (drawing).
Squares I3, I4 (Figs. 3, 4). Remains of a building that consisted of a long narrow room (L24082; 1.3×6.4 m) were exposed. The walls (W24064, W24075, W24076) were built of various size fieldstones and roughly hewn stones bonded with mortar; they were preserved two–three courses high (max. height 0.5 m). A floor of crushed chalk and plaster was exposed in the room. Wall 24064, better preserved than the others, was built on a foundation of small fieldstones. West of the room, another section of a wall (W24077; length 1.1 m, preserved height 0.15 m) that probably delimited another room in the building was exposed. The 2011 excavation in this area revealed wall remains north of the building remains in the current excavation. Those remains are probably part of a long northern wall of the same building.
Fragments of pottery vessels dating to the Abbasid period (ninth–tenth centuries CE) were discovered in the excavation, including glazed bowls (Fig. 5:3, 4), kraters (Fig. 5:5, 6) and a flask (Fig. 5:8).
Square I8 (Figs. 6, 7). Remains of a wall (W24078; length 2 m, width 0.8 m, preserved height 0.5 m) were exposed; it was built of a single large limestone course, some of which were dressed, and above it another course of small fieldstones bonded in mortar. The wall was abutted on the south by a floor or floor bedding (L24083) composed of small stones bonded in mortar. Two ashlars, probably remains of another wall, were exposed c. 1 m east of W24078.
While excavating the square, fragments of pottery vessels that mostly dated to the Abbasid period, including bowls (Fig. 5:1, 2) and jars (Fig. 5:7) were discovered.