During September 2005, a trial excavation was conducted near the entrance to Qazrin Park (Permit No. A-4600; NIG 26606/76597; OIG 21606/26597), prior to the construction of a new service path in the park. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Qazrin Local Council and the Jewish National Fund, was directed by O. Zingboym, with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqoby (administration), V. Essman (surveying), L. Kupershmidt (metallurgical laboratory), H. Tahan (pottery drawing), Y. Gorin-Rosen (glass), and D.T. Ariel (numismatics).
The site had been surveyed in the past (Judaea, Samaria and the Golan: Archaeological Survey 1967–1968, Site 84) and excavations at the site revealed 10 habitation levels, mostly dating to the Byzantine (fifth–eighth centuries CE) and Mamluk (thirteenth–fifteenth centuries CE) periods, as well as a synagogue and adjacent buildings that were dated to the Byzantine period (ESI 4:90–94; Biblical Archaeology 51 :44–56).
The excavation (4 × 6 m) was carried out along the southwestern fringes of the site, in a flat area that gently descends to the west, toward a wadi that separates the settlement site from the ancient cemetery. The remains of two buildings (Figs. 1, 2) were exposed 0.1 m below surface. A wall in the eastern part of the area (W1) was oriented north-northeast–south-southwest. It was probably the outer wall of a building in which an opening (width 0.6 m) was set. The eastern corner of another structure (W2, W3) in the western part of the area was preserved three courses high. It was founded on bedrock and built of fieldstones and roughly hewn stones in dry construction. A plaster floor (L104) that overlaid a bedding of tamped earth and abutted W1, was discovered in a sounding (L105; Fig. 3). The plaster layer may have served as a foundation for a small-stone pavement, as evidenced by several stones that survived at this level. It seems that this floor extended across the area between the buildings.
The fragments of pottery vessels discovered beneath the floor level (L105) belonged to Kefar Hananya ware (third–fourth centuries CE) and included bowls (Fig. 4:1–3), a cooking pot (Fig. 4:4) and a jar that was very common to sites from the fourth century CE in the Galilee (Fig. 4:5). Other artifacts from this locus included a few fragments of glass vessels that dated to the third–fourth centuries CE and six coins (IAA Nos. 111582–111587) from the third–fourth centuries CE, the latest of which was minted in the year 383 CE (IAA No. 111587). It therefore seems that the buildings were founded in the Late Roman period (latter part of third century CE) and were in use until the beginning of the Byzantine period (end of fourth–beginning of fifth centuries CE). The location of the buildings indicates that the settlement extended across an extensive area at the beginning of the Byzantine period (fourth century CE) and not just in the fifth–sixth centuries CE, as the excavators of the site had previously thought; it reached at least as far as the excavation area and possibly even south of it.