During January 2010, a survey preceding development was conducted along the route of a planned water line on Har Tur‘an (License No. S-235/2011; map ref. 23000–520/74360–470). The survey, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Mekorot Company, Ltd., was directed by G. Cinamon.
The survey region was divided into four sections according to the topographical characteristics of the area (Fig. 1), along the route of the pipeline and for a distance of 50 m on both sides of it.
Section 1 (length c. 2.5 km) extended from the top of Har Tur‘an ridge, east to Mizpe Netofa, on the ridge line west, descending gently toward Mizpe Bet Rimon. The terrain is mountainous and is characterized by rocky dolomite and fairly dense vegetation.
Section 2 (from map ref. 231921/743755) is an area of 50 m, west of contour line 424 m above sea level and along an existing road that was previously quarried.
Section 3 (from map ref. 231921/743755) is a second planned route that was surveyed on a steep slope descending from Bet Rimon toward the village of ‘Uzeir. Ancient caves and rock-cuttings are located along the route; none others were found in the current survey.
Section 4. The route of the planned pipeline passes through the center of ‘Uzeir village, in a dense rural area; consequently, there was no possibility of inspecting antiquities. The route is slated to cross the village west of the declared antiquities site and terminate at the Mekorot station.
The planned route of the Mekorot pipeline (Fig. 1) passes mostly through an area, which is barely known from a standpoint of archaeology. Several archaeological excavations conducted in recent years inside ‘Uzeir (HA-ESI 124
) indicate that many antiquities are located in the eastern part of the village. The finds dated from the Roman period until the Middle Ages and are characterized by a crowded and intensive settlement.
No antiquities were found in the current survey.