In February and March 2020, a salvage excavation was conducted south of Kibbutz Ha-’On and east of its resort village (Permit No. A-8697; map ref. 258291–371/736309–423), following the identification of concentrations of ancient building blocks on the surface. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by Kibbutz Ha-’On, was directed by G. Leyfirer (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqobi and Y. Lavan (administration), Y. Harel (preliminary tests), M. Peleg (photogrammetry), A. Shapiro (GIS), H. Tahan-Rosen (plans), R. Beeri (guidance), Y. Alexandre (pottery) and Y. Tsur.
The excavation was conducted in a cultivated agricultural area, where orchards and groves had previously been planted. A single square was excavated, yielding stones and finds from the Roman and Mamluk periods. Previous excavations at the site revealed a mosaic floor of a church from the beginning of the Byzantine period (Tzaferis 1966; Fig. 1: A-741), as well as a bathhouse from the end of the Byzantine period – the Umayyad period and remains from the Mamluk period (Cinamon 2013; Fig. 1: A-5705).
A layer of alluvium containing dressed stones, fieldstones, worn flint items and pottery was exposed on the surface. Beneath the surface layer (L11–L14; Figs. 2, 3) were concentrations of stones of various sizes, some dressed or plastered, and worn potsherds dating from the Roman and Mamluk periods (not drawn). A layer of clay soil (L15), devoid of finds, was exposed below the stone concentrations. The unearthed remains do not appear to be in situ, possibly as a result of agricultural activity.
Tzaferis V. 1966. Ha-On. HA 17:24 (Hebrew).