In September 2018, a salvage excavation was conducted on Koveshe Ha-Hermon Street in Qiryat ‘Eqron (Permit No. A-8344; map ref. 183232–72/640573–613; Fig. 1), prior to the construction of residential homes. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by V. Shustin, with the assistance of Y. Amrani and E. Bachar (administration), M. Kahan (surveying and drafting), Y. Marmelstein (field photography), A. Dagot (GIS and GPS), N. Zak (plans), P. Gendelman (scientific consultation), and D. Ben Ami, D. Barkan, Y. Radshkovsky and D. Abu Saleh from the IAA Central District.
The excavation was conducted near the ‘Aqir antiquities site, to the south of an excavation conducted there in 2013 (Marmelstein 2016, and see background and references therein; Fig. 1: A-6758). Five excavation squares (1–5; Fig. 2) opened in an area containing dark sand and hamra soil revealed building remains and a round installation dating from the Early Islamic period.
Building Remains. Squares 4 and 5 contained the remains of a rectangular building on a north–south alignment (Figs. 3, 4). The walls of the building were built of small and medium-sized undressed limestones, preserved to the height of a single course; they were placed on a foundation course (height 0.5 m) built of small fieldstones. The building comprised three spaces of different sizes (1–3). Two square stone sockets with depressions to hold a door hinge (Fig. 5) were found in the southern wall (W137) of the middle space. The building yielded fragments of Early Islamic pottery, including bowls (Fig. 6:1, 2), a casserole (Fig. 6:3) and jars (Fig. 6:4–7).
Square 1 contained a short segment of a wall (W107) built of undressed medium-sized limestones and preserved to the height of a single course. The wall was founded on a thick layer of pottery debris dating from the Early Islamic period.
Round Installation. Square 2 contained an installation (L128; Fig. 7) consisting of a circle of small, undressed stones. A soil fill inside the installation (L131; excavated depth 0.3 m) was mixed with Early Islamic potsherds (not drawn).