During December 2012, a salvage excavation was conducted in the Giv‘at Tal neighborhood of Rosh Ha-‘Ayin (Permit No. A-6664; map ref. 194410–636/665912–6178), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the contractor, Y. Meshulam, was directed by A.S. Tendler, with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), V. Essman and Y. Shmidov (surveying), A. Peretz (field photography) and A. Danzinger (antiquities inspection).
A terrace wall (W1; Figs. 2, 3), probably the continuation of the terrace wall from two previous excavations, and a cistern (L102; Figs. 4, 5) were exposed.
The terrace wall (W1; height 1.5 m) enclosed a farming terrace on the northern slope of the hill. The wall was built of especially large fieldstones that were set directly on the bedrock. South of the wall was a heap of small stone clearance that had been piled up during the course of cultivating the area.
The cistern was circular (L102; diam. c. 7.5 m, depth c. 3.5 m) and coated with a thick layer of light colored plaster. The cistern’s ceiling and sides were cracked and it seems that chunks of bedrock had collapsed in some places. The floor of the cistern was overlain with modern refuse; it was not excavated. The wide opening that is visible today is apparently a breach and not the original opening of the cistern. While cleaning the bedrock above the cistern the corner of a rock-cut surface was identified—probably remains of an ancient installation, such as a winepress or quarry—through which the cistern’s opening was breached.
The finds belong to the agricultural area of one of the ancient settlements in region and are therefore evidence of farming activity that occurred in antiquity.