A surface layer of modern debris was first removed from the excavation area (Fig. 2), revealing rock-hewn installations (Stratum III; Fig. 2), remains of a building dating from the Roman and Byzantine periods (Stratum II; third–fifth centuries CE) and an ashlar wall that was built later (Stratum I). Many previous excavations were conducted at the site (for background and references, see Mokary 2021; Tzin 2021). The current excavation remains are probably associated with remains from the same periods discovered in the past in nearby excavations.
Stratum III—Rock-Hewn Installations. Three circular pits uncovered in the center of the excavation area (L117, L136, L137) were hewn into a flat rock surface. Pit 117 had vertical sides (diam. 1.3 m; Fig. 3). Pits 136 and 137 adjoined each other; at some stage, the rock wall separating them was removed, and they were joined to form a single installation. A straight channel (L135; depth 0.1 m) cut toward L136 from the west probably conveyed some kind of liquid to the pit. The pits were excavated to a maximum depth of 0.7 m, but their excavation was not completed. The pits contained fills of soil mixed with potsherds (below, Fig. 11:10), showing that they were filled in and ceased to be used in the Late Roman or Byzantine period. The western side of the rock surface contained a straight hewn channel (L133; depth 0.1 m; Fig. 4) that may be a continuation of channel L135, as well as a rock-cut cupmark (L128; diam. c. 0.4 m, depth 0.18 m; Fig. 5). To the east of the pits, directly beneath the floor of the building from Stratum II, was a basin (L123; Fig. 8) that was built of stones and plastered and had a small step (height 0.15 m) and a small depression in its base (diam. 0.1 m, depth 0.07 m).
Stratum II—Building Remains. Remains of a building, including four rooms, were uncovered in the east of the excavation area (1–4; Figs. 6, 7). The building’s walls were built of limestone fieldstones and preserved to a maximum height of five courses. All the building’s rooms contained floors of beaten earth mixed with small stones (L114–L116, L120, L126). The walls of Room 1 were founded on bedrock (L130, L131). The western part of the earthen floor (L116) in Room 3 was paved with flat stones. In Room 4, part of the floor was made of plaster (L122), and another part used the bedrock, which was leveled (L112).
Stumps of walls (W116, W132, W134, W138–W140) throughout the excavation area were founded on bedrock and built of limestone fieldstones; the walls were preserved to the height of a single course. Based on their construction, these walls are probably part of the building.
Stratum I—Wall Remains. Room 1 contained a wall (W109; Fig. 9) that cut into the room's floor and therefore postdates the building. The wall was built of large ashlars. The wall was probably part of a building complex removed when the plot was prepared for construction.
Pottery Finds
The excavation recovered locally manufactured pottery of types familiar from excavations in the Galilee and dated to the Hellenistic, Early and Late Roman, and Byzantine periods.
Hellenistic Period. The pottery from this period was not found in an architectural context, and it includes fragments of a mortarium with an externally thickened rim (Fig. 10:1); two types of cooking pot: one with an internally stepped rim (Fig. 10:2) and the other with an everted rim (Fig. 10:3); two types of jar: one with a thickened everted rim and a short concave neck (Fig. 10:4) and the other with a rim that is triangular in section (Fig. 10:5); a jug with a long neck and a thickened rim (Fig. 10:6); and a fragment of an oil lamp nozzle (Fig. 10:7).
Early Roman Period. The pottery from this period resembles pottery produced at Kefar Hananiya; it includes a cooking pot similar to Kefar Hananiya Type 3A (Fig. 11:1), a cooking pot with two grooves on its rim, and another groove at the base of the neck (Fig. 11:2), a juglet with a simple everted rim (Fig. 11:3) and a jar with a stepped rim and a ridge at the base of the neck (Fig. 11:4).
Late Roman and Byzantine Periods. The excavation yielded a bowl with a thickened rim that is rectangular in section, resembling bowls produced at Kefar Hananiya (Type E1; Fig. 11:5); a Late Roman C Ware bowl (Fig. 11:6); a basin with an everted rim that is square in section (Fig. 11:7); a cooking pot similar to those produced at Kefar Hananiya (Type 4C; Fig. 11:8); three types of jars, including jars with an outfolded rim and a ridge at the base of the neck (Fig. 11:9), jars with an externally thickened rim and a ridge at the base of the neck (Fig. 11:10) of a type that is familiar from the Ahihud workshop and dates from the Late Roman–Early Byzantine period, and a jar with a thickened rim that is rectangular in section and a ridge at the base of the neck (Fig. 11:11); as well as an almost complete decorated oil lamp (Fig. 11:12).
The pottery from the excavation shows that the site was occupied in the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods. The concentration of installations found in the excavation suggests that the site was an industrial zone. A large building that may have been a farmhouse was built on top of the area in the Middle Roman period, continuing into the Byzantine period (fifth century CE).