In July 2019, a trial excavation was conducted south of Yeroham (Permit No. A-8565; map ref. 19150–95/54285–365; Fig. 1), prior to the development of a new neighborhood. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by the Yeroham Economic Development Corporation, was conducted by T. Sapir (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Alamor (administration), E. Aladjem (surveying and drafting), T. Abulafia (flints), C. Amit (flint photography), I. Lidsky-Reznikov (pottery drawing) and G. Seriy and M. Pasternak (scientific consultation).
A previous survey conducted in the vicinity of the excavation area (S-939/2019) identified the remains of an oval building, installations, agricultural terraces and stone-clearance heaps; some of these features were excavated in the current excavation. Additional surveys conducted in the area documented, among other things, Iron Age and Roman fortresses, buildings and agricultural terraces (Shmueli, Aladjem and Radashkovsky 2012; S-511/2014, S-765/2017). Previous excavations in the area were conducted at Masad Yeroham (Cohen 1967; Cohen 1973; A-2018/1998), at Har Yeroham (Kochavi 1963), at Yeroham junction (Lender 2006), c. 250 m northeast of the current excavation (Paran 2007), and on the bank of
al Shu‘alim, c. 100 m west of the current excavation (Rasiuk 2019).
The excavation was conducted northeast of Nahal Shu‘alim and uncovered a single building, eight agricultural terrace walls and 12 stone heaps (Fig. 2). The excavation yielded meager diagnostic finds, but the proximity of the remains to Yeroham fortress suggests that they belong to the agricultural hinterland of the Roman and Byzantine settlement.
The oval building (L118; 3 × 5 m; Fig. 3) was built of small and medium-sized limestone and flint stones, and it contained loess soil with no finds.
The agricultural terrace walls (W113, W119, W124, W127, W129, W131, W139, W141) were built of a single row of small and medium-sized limestone and flint stones and were preserved to a maximum height of eight courses (height c. 2 m; Fig. 4). On the inner face of Terrace Walls 113, 119, 124 and 129, a lining of small limestone stones was found. Walls 119, 127 and 131 were built on the slope descending to the stream. Wall 124 contained a fragment of a ceramic flask (Basket 1046; Fig. 5) that probably dates the terrace to the Byzantine period. The agricultural terraces’ alluvium yielded 53 flint items (Table 1). Most of the items are knapping debris (Fig. 6:1–3) made of local raw material of the Mishash Formation, found in outcrops 2–3 km away. Two notched tools made on flakes (Fig. 6:4, 5) and a worn flake core were identified in the assemblage. The items were not found in situ.
The stone heaps (L101–L103, L106, L110, L112, L116, L117, L122, L125, L126, L128) consisted of fieldstones of various sizes. Careful dismantling of the heaps revealed that some superimposed single-course stone circles (Fig. 7).
Cohen R. 1967. Mezad Yeroham. HA 21:1–3 (Hebrew).
Cohen R. 1973. Har Yeroham. HA 47:22–24 (Hebrew).
Kochavi M. 1963. Har Yeroham. HA 7:9–11 (Hebrew).
Rasiuk A. 2019. Yeroh
al Shu‘alim HA-ESI 131
Shmueli O., Aladjem E. and Radashkovsky I. 2012. Yeroh
am, Mishor Yeroh
am, Survey HA-ESI 124