In May 2013, a trial excavation was conducted at Ramat Yishay (Permit No. A-6768; map ref. 216248–50/734467–71), prior to the construction of a residential building. The excavation, undertaken by the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by W. Atrash and B. Hanna, with the assistance of Y. Lavan (administration), L. Liran (surveying), A. Shapiro (GPS), Y. Bibas (field photography), H. Tahan (pottery drawing) and Y. Gorin-Rosen (glass).
The excavation was situated in the center of Ramat Yishay (Fig. 1). Archaeological remains documented in a previously conducted survey (Raban 1983: Sites 41–48) ranged in date from the Roman to the Ottoman period. Small-scale excavations were carried out at the site revealing settlement remains, the earliest of which are ascribed to the Roman period and latest to the modern era (Porat 2007
; Mokary 2010
Remains of two strata (I, II) were discovered. Stratum I yielded layers of ash and light brown soil from the Umayyad period. Stratum II yielded part of a pavement of nari stones dating to the Byzantine period (fifth–sixth centuries CE).
Stratum II. Seven rows of nari stones used for paving (L11; Figs. 2, 3) were exposed. The floor was founded on light gray soil and small fieldstones (L13) overlying the natural bedrock. The foundation contained pottery sherds from the Byzantine period, including an imported CRS-type bowl with a thickened and grooved rim from the mid-fifth century CE (Fig. 4:1); a casserole with a plain, rounded rim from the sixth century CE (Fig. 4:2); three fragments of black bag-shaped jars, with a tall ridged neck and a folded-out rim from the fifth–sixth centuries CE (Fig. 4:3–5). The floor was part of an architectural complex that did not survive. It is dated to the Byzantine period on the basis of the ceramic finds.
Stratum I comprisedindustrial refuse consisting of thin layers of ash and light brown soil (L10, L12) piled from north to south over the floor of Stratum II (Fig. 5), indicating a nearby workshop. The layer of refuse contained pottery sherds from the Byzantine and Umayyad periods, including two types of imported bowls: LRC bowls (Fig. 6:1) dating to the latter half of the fifth century CE and CRS bowls (Fig. 6:2–4); the latter include bowls dating from the mid fifth century to the late seventh century CE (Fig. 6:2, 3) and a bowl (Fig. 6:4) with a date ranging from the late fourth century to the early sixth century CE. Also found were black bag-shaped jars that have a plain, round rim and a tall neck (Fig. 6:5), dating to the Umayyad period; a jug smeared with white paint and adorned with red colored linear and geometric decorations (Fig. 6:6), dating to the first half of the seventh century CE; and a piriform oil lamp decorated with a reticulated pattern characteristic of the Umayyad period (Fig. 6:7).
The remains indicate that the Byzantine-period settlement extended along the southern and western slopes of the hill. In the Early Islamic period, the area of the settlement was reduced, and covered only on the hilltop. The slopes that were previously within the precincts of the Byzantine settlement became refuse areas, where debris was discarded.
Raban A. 1983. Map of Nahalal (28) (Archaeological Survey of Israel). Jerusalem.