InOctober 2013,a trial excavationwas conductedon the northern fringesof Horbat Sasay (Permit No. A-6885; map ref.212692–826/742612–753), after ancient remainswere discoveredduringpreliminary field inspection prior to development. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Cross-Israel Highway, was directedby D.Kirzner(field photography), with the assistance ofY.Amraniand E.Bachar (administration), R. Mishayev and M.Kahan(surveyingand drafting), C. Ben-Ari (GPS), A.Gorzalczany(scientific advisor), M.Shuiskaya(pottery drawing), C. Sa‘idand L.Talmi.
Four squares (A1–A3, B2; 100 sq m; Figs. 2–4) were excavated, exposing three strata (III–I).
Stratum III. The lowest stratum comprised sterile brown alluvium with pebbles and abraded medium-sized stones.
Stratum II compriseslight brown alluvium containing pebbles, several potsherds and abraded flint items (L102; Fig. 5).
Stratum I. Brown alluvium containing a meager scattering of abraded flint items and potsherds dating to the Roman, Byzantine and Late Islamic periods (L100). Remains of a wall (W10, L103; length 4.5 m; Fig. 6) were exposed in Sq A1, which was preserved to a height of one course and was founded on top of Stratum II. Both faces of the wall were built of large fieldstones with smaller stones in between. The eastern face of the wall was not as well preserved as the western face. The wall extended into the southeastern balk, and presumably continued beyond the excavation limits. A few worn potsherds from the Roman period were found in the vicinity of the wall (L104, L105).
The ceramic finds consisted of several abraded potsherds dating to a variety of periods: a fragment of a Rhodian amphora handle (Fig. 7:1) from the Hellenistic period; a body fragment of a bag-shaped jar (first–second centuries CE; Fig. 7:2) from the Roman period; fragments of a bowl and bag-shaped jar (Fig. 7:3, 4) from the Byzantine period; and a fragment of a bowl (Fig. 7:5) from the Late Islamic period. The flint items are mixed and abraded and difficult to identify; nevertheless, they can be generally ascribed to the Middle and Upper Paleolithic periods.
A building dating to the Roman period, the nature of which is unclear, was exposed in the excavation. The isolated architectural remain and meager finds are insufficient to characterize ancient activities that transpired at the site.