Area A
A sloping bedrock terrace that formed a U-shaped enclosure was located on the upper part of the northern slope, at the bottom of the Horbat Be’erit hilltop. A limekiln blocked with stone collapse and a large boulder that had apparently rolled down the slope (Fig. 2) was discerned on the lower part of the bedrock terrace, c. 2.5 m from its top. The kiln (L5; outer dimensions 3.25 × 5.30 m, inner dimensions 1.6 × 2.0 m, depth 2.5 m; Fig. 3) consisted of a wall that encircled a hewn pit. The wall was preserved three courses high in the north and west (W1, W5) and five courses in the east (W3; Fig. 4). It was founded directly on chalk bedrock and rested on large rocks to the south (W4). The dry construction of the wall used medium and large coarsely dressed stones, which were arranged in two adjacent rows that had straight faces. Small stones were inserted between the courses to stabilize them. The stones (0.4 × 0.4 × 0.6 m) in the eastern part of the wall were larger than those in the western part (0.2 × 0.2 × 0.3 m). On the northern side was an opening, paved with coarsely dressed stones that were set on a bed of soil (thickness c. 0.2 m). This may have been a vent for stoking or a wind tunnel that was meant to fan the flames of the fire because the predominant winds in the region are from the north.
The pit was lined with small and medium stones and its area gradually tapered toward the bottom (tapering to 0.4 × 0.9 m). Burnt stones (L5) were discovered on the bottom of the pit, and below them were layers of ash and lime; hence, the installation has been identified as a limekiln. Two jug rims from the end of the Hellenistic period (third–second centuries BCE; Fig. 5) were found between the burnt stones, whereas no finds were discovered outside the kiln, except for a few jar fragments from the Byzantine period (sixth–seventh centuries CE) on surface. It seems that the kiln should be dated to the Hellenistic period, although it could have also been used in the Byzantine period.
A wall (W2; length 3.3 m) whose end rested on the bedrock terrace to the east was identified east of Limekiln 5. The wall, haphazardly built of small fieldstones (0.2 × 0.2 × 0.2 m), was preserved five courses high. Alluvium, devoid of any finds, had accumulated south of the wall (L6).
A similar installation (L3; upper diam. c. 3.5 m, lower diam. 1.5 m; Fig. 6) was partly excavated c. 50 m west of Kiln 5, on the lower part of the terrace. Only the rock-hewn part of the installation, lined with small stones, was preserved, although it had been slightly damaged when the road was paved. It was found blocked with burnt stones that overlay ashes and a layer of lime (L3). It seems that this was another limekiln, even though no wind tunnel or stoking vent was identified and no potsherds or other datable finds were discovered.
Area B
A hollow in bedrock was completely excavated c. 1 km east of Area A. A large quantity of small stones and small worn body sherds of pottery vessels were recovered from the hollow. Most of the potsherds dated to the Byzantine period (sixth–seventh centuries CE) and a few were from the end of the Hellenistic period (third–second centuries CE); no architectural remains or masonry stones were exposed. It seems that this was a topographical depression into which potsherds had been swept.