Nahal Zalmon is 27 km long from Qibbuz Parod to where it empties into the Kinneret near Qibbuz Ginnosar. The beginning of Nahal Zalmon bypasses the ancient settlement of Parod (Khirbat Farradiya, map ref. 240263/759619). Qibbuz Parod was built on Farradiya Hill, above the stream’s southeastern bank. Nearby, Kefar Hananya (the Arabic village of Kafr ‘Anan) was built on the eastern bank of the stream in the Roman period and Be’er Sheva‘ Ha-Gelilit, which was a fortified city in the Second Temple period, was founded on a remote hilltop west of the stream. Be’er Sheva‘ Ha-Gelilit was already abandoned in the Early Roman period, whereas Parod and Kefar Hananya continued and developed into Jewish settlements in the Talmud and Mishnah eras, and Arab villages in the Middle Ages (Kafr Farradiya was an Arab village until 1948).
Khirbat Farradiya has not been excavated to date and no remains of fortified buildings are visible upon it. However, excavations conducted along the lower western slope of the hill (map ref. 240238/759831) revealed two columbaria complexes and two burial complexes from the Roman period (HA-ESI 110: 7*–9*). Talmudic sources that mention Parod state it was an affluent Jewish village, and in the Middle Ages traditions developed involving the burial of some of the Talmudic sages in the region of Kefar Hananya and Parod.
In the area between these three settlements are ancient remains that point to the subsistence sources of the region’s residents: burial caves, columbaria, agricultural industrial installations (e.g., winepresses), pottery workshops, ancient agricultural remains, such as farming terraces and stone enclosure walls, and other building remains whose nature has not yet been ascertained.
Following is a description of the finds in the defined survey area (Fig. 1). Trial trenches were excavated in those places where a prominent accumulation of soil or the tops of walls were visible, to determine the presence of ancient remains.
Site 1. Heavy brown soil containing large amounts of potsherds was documented on a very gentle slope that faces south. Despite the poor preservation, the potsherds can still be identified as Kefar Hananya ware, dating to the end of the Roman period. Five trial trenches were cut; in two probes, further examination was conducted using mechanical equipment, from the top of a wall that was intermittently visible (length 20 m; Fig. 2). The wall was built of medium-sized fieldstones and preserved two-three courses high (0.5 m). The soil adjoining the wall down to the bedrock contained numerous potsherds dating to the Late Roman and Byzantine periods.
Site 2. The surface is scattered with many potsherds dating from the Roman to the Ottoman periods. The trial trench yielded no architectural remains.
Site 3. A small mound (height c. 2 m) standing out from its surroundings and surrounded by sections of walls. The walls, built of fieldstones, are preserved two–three courses high (0.5–1.0 m; Fig. 3). Many Roman and Byzantine potsherds were found in the vicinity of the mound. Two trial trenches were dug in the mound by a backhoe, from east to west. No remains were found in the southern trench, while a wall preserved three courses high (1.0 m) was revealed in the northern trench. Numerous fragments of pottery vessels from the Roman period were found below the level of the wall.
Site 4. A farming terrace built of large limestone fieldstones. The wall is oriented northeast-southwest and is preserved in segments, one course high, for a distance of c. 20 m. Numerous potsherds from the Roman and Byzantine periods were in the vicinity of the wall.
Trial Trench 101. A trial trench (length 23 m, max. depth 0.7 m) was excavated east of Sites 3 and 4. The trench was opened in an area with many potsherds scattered around that ranged in date from the Roman period to the modern era; no architectural remains were found.
Site 55. The top remains of two walls that are built of small and medium fieldstones (height 0.4 m) were found. The region of the walls is replete with potsherds that date from the Roman–Byzantine to the Ottoman periods.
Site 5. A potsherd scatter on the surface. No building remains were found in the trial trench.
Site 6. A farming terrace wall, built of three courses of small fieldstones (length 100 m, height 0.5 m) and aligned east–west, in a region where the gentle slope becomes steep. Pottery fragments dating from the Roman-Byzantine to the Ottoman periods were found next to the wall.
Site 7. At the southern end of the survey area, eight parallel sections of terrace walls were found aligned east–west (total length 80 m). The best preserved terrace wall (length 13 m, height 0.5 m) survived to seven courses high and is built of small fieldstones resting against large fieldstones on top of the bedrock.
A trial trench was cut perpendicular to a farming terrace in the southern part of the area and no architectural remains or finds that could be dated were found.
Site 8. A fragmentary terrace wall (total length 65 m) oriented east–west. The best preserved section (length 12 m, height 0.5 m) is built in the style characteristic of the region (see Site 7). Next to the wall, which is set on top of the an exposed rock surface, several poorly preserved potsherds were found (Fig. 4).
Site 9. Remains of a collapsed cave. The mouth of the cave (length 3 m, height 1 m) was preserved and the cave’s interior was filled with alluvium and stones (Fig. 5).
Site 10. Many farming terraces (max. length 2 m, height 1 m) that are built in the style characteristic of the region (see Site 7). No potsherds were found.
Site 11. Remains of a winepress hewn in limestone bedrock. The installation includes a treading floor (2.5 × 3.5 m), a drainage channel and a square collecting vat. The northern side of the treading floor is hewn in a bedrock step, above which a fieldstone-built wall preserved two courses high was built (length 3 m; Fig. 6). The western side was also preserved while the eastern and southern sides are covered with vegetation. It seems that the wall above the northern side of the treading floor postdated the installation. Rock-cuttings and remains of walls preserved a single course high are visible around the installation.
Site 12. A collapsed cave was surveyed east of the terrace wall at Site 8. The cave opening was preserved (width 2 m, height 0.5 m), but the cave itself was filled with alluvium and stones (Fig. 7).
Site 13. A system of terraces descending down a spur to the west. The terraces are built perpendicular to the slope in the manner characteristic of the region, but they have no architectural or stratigraphic context (see Site 7). Several fairly worn potsherds were found.
Site 14. A wall, generally aligned north–south (length 20 m, height 0.5 m) and preserved two courses high. The wall is different than the terrace walls described so far. It is built of medium fieldstones and nearby are numerous pottery fragments from the Roman period. Two trial trenches were dug next and perpendicular to the terrace wall (Fig. 8). It was ascertained that the wall was founded on a soil level (thickness 0.5 m) that contained Roman potsherds. Hence the wall apparently dates from the Roman period onward.
Site 15. A trial trench (length 3 m, depth 1.2 m) was dug down to bedrock level. The upper half meter of soil accumulation contained mixed potsherds that are extremely worn; no antiquities were recorded in the bottom part of the trench.
Site 103. Small soil mounds in which numerous potsherds are visible (Fig. 1: Section 101). A trial trench (length 25 m, max. depth 1 m) was dug and mixed potsherds were found, similar to those on the surface. No wall remains were noted.
Site 16. A northern trial trench (length 20 m, max. depth 0.5 m) was dug and another one (length 3 m, depth 1 m) was cut in the middle of the first and perpendicular to it. Mixed potsherds were found from a depth of 0.5 m down to bedrock surface. No architectural remains were found.
Site 17. Many mixed pottery fragments were surveyed. A trial trench (length 5 m, max. depth 0.35 m) dug in the northern part of the community expansion shows that the bedrock surface is high and the potsherds beneath the surface are mixed with modern refuse.
Site 18. Numerous potsherds from a variety of periods (Roman to Ottoman) were exposed in a trial trench (length 15 m, max. depth 0.7 m). Below the layer of soil and potsherds (depth 0.2 m) is a layer of small stones, devoid of pottery and building remains.
Site 19. A trial trench (length 130 m) was excavated. The bedrock surface is visible in the eastern part of the trench and the bedrock in its west is no deeper than 0.1 m. The soil covering the rock surface for the entire length of the trench contained mixed potsherds together with modern refuse. No building remains were discerned.
Site 104. A few mixed potsherds were found on the surface of a trial trench (length 25 m, max. depth 1 m). Modern refuse mixed with pottery fragments was noted from a depth of 0.5 m to the bedrock surface.
Site 29. A trial trench (length 10 m, max. depth 1.3 m) that is perpendicular to a prominent fold in the surface. Scattered fieldstones and roughly hewn building stones, without an architectural context were found from the surface down to a depth of 0.5 m. From a depth of 0.5 m to 1 m is modern refuse and from a depth of 1 m and below, the natural bedrock is weathered.
Site 30. A trial trench dug through a fold in the ground (length 7 m, depth 1 m). Modern refuse was found below the surface, from a depth of 0.5 m to 1 m deep and then, below it, the natural bedrock is weathered.
Site 31. A trial trench (length 5 m, depth 2 m). Several mixed potsherds were found on the surface. Light brown soil containing several fieldstones, without potsherds, was excavated from the surface to a depth of 0.3 m. At the bottom of the trench, heavy dark brown soil was found, usually without stones and without potsherds. Limestone bedrock was exposed at a depth of 2 m.
Site 32. A fold in the ground; no antiquities were found.
Site 33. A fold in the ground; no antiquities were found.
Site 120. A treading floor hewn in limestone (3.5×3.5 m) was surveyed in a line where the slope is not steep. Its dimensions can be calculated on the basis of the northern and western sides and the southwestern corner that survived. A system of terrace walls was surveyed north of the treading floor. They are aligned east–west and built of large fieldstones that support small fieldstones, similar to the construction method in the southern region of survey (see Site 7). Modern construction in this area includes water lines, concrete surfaces and fences.
Site 121. Remains of a structure that is built of large fieldstones and poor quality concrete were visible on the northern boundary of the survey area. The building includes a main room (5×7 m) and rooms or fenced courtyards next to it on the north and east. The building resembles those of the Arab village of Farradiya and is surrounded by a system of terraces. No pottery was found in or around it.
It seems the survey area can be divided into four secondary regions on the basis of their topographical characteristics and finds:
(1) The northern region (Fig. 1: green background) in the northern part of which the soil is deep and devoid of pottery, and from Trench 19 south the amount of potsherds increases. There are many building stones on the surface, yet they do not occur in architectural contexts and are sometimes next to modern debris. The few potsherds are quite worn and have mixed dates ranging from the Roman period to the modern era. Infrastructure work was done in the area, including the installation of water and sewer lines and it seems that if there were ancient remains, the work severely damaged them.
(2) The eastern region (Fig. 1: blue background) is a slope that descends gently from the northeast to the west and south. The area is characterized by exposed bedrock and numerous terraces. No antiquities were found in the context of the terraces and the amount of pottery fragments is also meager. However, antiquities were found in situ in the southeastern part of the area, including a winepress complex (Site 11) and caves (Sites 9 and 12).
(3) The western region (Fig. 1: yellow background) included many potsherds that dated from the Roman period onward. Meager walls in the trial trenches were built of one or two courses of fieldstones with no architectural or archaeological context.
(4) The western boundary of the community expansion (Sites 1–4, 14–16, 55) where numerous meager walls preserved one or two courses high were documented. There were many potsherds dating to the Roman period and later in and below the walls.