To the east of the ‘Illut road, the region had not been previously surveyed but several probe trenches dug in the area caused severe damage to several knapping pits that contained vast numbers of cores and waste material. A preliminary examination of the trench sections revealed that these knapping pits dated to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B and were located in a leveled area covered with a high density of flaked flint. The exposure of the pits and the flint density necessitated a thorough survey whose aims were to locate prehistoric sites; to characterize the sites and the centers of activity in the area where the worked flint is extensively scattered and to identify the flint industry and its chronological association.
The area was divided into ten plots (1–10; Fig. 1), which were measured by GPS and separately surveyed; the finds were sampled and recorded on a map. The survey of the agricultural area proved inefficient and required a random sampling of the density of the finds and their preliminary sorting, to locate the main activity center and areas with scattered flint that were not necessarily within the site’s limits. The probe trenches were marked and measured and their finds were examined within the framework of the different plots.
Plot 1
A plowed plot of triangular shape, whose base is in the west and its surface is leveled and higher than the surrounding area. A high-density flint scatter of c. 220 items per sq m was found. The plot was sampled in two spots (11, 12) and the flint scatters revealed in both were identical. The preliminary sorting shows that most of the flint items (72%) are rolled natural chunks, while the flaked items constitute 28% of the sorted finds. These include Neolithic artifacts (bipolar cores, bi-facials and a polished axe), as well as those of the Mousterian culture (Middle Paleolithic period).
Plot 2
A recently cultivated plot whose outline is rectangular and its area is c. 8 dunams. Like Plot 1, it is also covered with flint. The distribution is less dense and the items are larger, but without chips. The plot was sampled in three spots (21–23) and the density of the finds was c. 180 items per sq m, of which 145 were natural items and the rest—flaked. The finds were mixed and their date is similar to the finds of Plot 1.
Plot 3
The plot is square and 0.5 m lower than Plot 2. Its western part is situated within the declared antiquities area and its eastern part is located along its fringes. The surface descends gently to the south, toward the wadi. The flint density is especially high as is the number of worked flint implements. The finds are homogenous and mostly man-made. The high number of bifacial items and cores in various stages of preparation should be noted. Three probe trenches, aligned north–south, were dug (101/1–3), damaging a large number of knapping pits. Two knapping pits of naviform cores were damaged in Trench 101/1 (Fig. 2) and in Trenches 101/2, 101/3, three knapping pits were harmed. The distance between the pits did not exceed 1 m and their depth is presumed to be similar.
Plot 4
This plot, to the west of Plot 3, is its natural continuation. A rocky hill on its western border has a soil cover whose thickness does not exceed 0.4 m. The plot’s area is c. 8 dunams and in spite of its stone clearance and cultivation, it was covered with a high density of flint. Two probe trenches (102/1, 102/2) were dug in the plot and knapping pits were noted at their northern ends. The finds included mostly knapped flint products, among them numerous cores that were discarded in various stages of production, mainly perform and exhausted cores. In addition, many bifacial tools that were discarded in different stages of production were identified. The high density of flaked flint, as well as the presence of several knapping pits indicates that intensive prehistoric activity took place in the area of the plot, including both knapping, shaping tools and dumping into waste pits; hence, it seems that the center of the site was located in this plot.