During July 2003, a salvage excavation was conducted at Yavne’el (Permit No. A-3927; map ref. NIG 24679–85/73540–46; OIG 19679–85/23540–46). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by D. Bechor, was directed by B. Hanna (surveying and drafting), with the assistance of L. Porat (pottery restoration) and H. Tahan (pottery drawing).
Three strata that dated from the Late Byzantine until the Mamluk periods were uncovered in the excavated area (12.5 sq m).
Stratum III. Architectural remains that included a stone pavement (L106) and remains of a mostly robbed wall (W11; Fig. 1) were exposed. The wall, built of fieldstones and oriented east–west, was preserved two courses high. A threshold stone with a hewn socket survived in the southern part of the wall; it was probably part of a doorway that was not preserved.
Floor 106, abutting W11 and consisting of fieldstones, was overlain with body fragments of jars from the Byzantine period.
Stratum II. Another floor (Loci 104, 107) that covered W11 and Floor 106 was exposed. The floor (thickness 0.2 m) was composed of basalt gravel, tesserae and fragments of pottery vessels mixed with soil. The ceramic finds from this layer dated to the Early Islamic period and included jar fragments (Fig. 2:3) and an intact lamp (Fig. 2:7) in the floor bedding (L108); a cooking bowl (Fig. 2:4) and a lamp (Fig. 2:6) on the floor; and a jug fragment (Fig. 2:5) in the accumulation above the floor (L103).
Stratum I. A collapse (Loci 100, 102) was exposed c. 0.5 m above the floor of Stratum II. It consisted of medium-sized basalt fieldstones, a stone doorjamb, gravel, dark brown soil and fragments of bowls from the Mamluk period (Fig. 2:1, 2).