During October–November 2005, a trial excavation was conducted next to the Messubim Junction, within the precincts of ancient Bene Beraq (Permit No. A-4617; map ref. 18380–400/66025–80), prior to the installation of a water pipeline. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Department of Public Works, was directed by A. Shadman.
The excavation was conducted along the eastern edge of the tell, c. 200 m southwest of the intersection. Two excavation squares were opened and three strata, which appeared to have been disturbed by mechanical equipment, were discerned.
Stratum I was located in the eastern square, below a layer of top soil that contained numerous potsherds from the Late Islamic, Crusader, Byzantine and Roman periods. It was a burnt layer that contained a few fieldstones, many pottery fragments and a complete vessel, not in situ, which dated to the Byzantine period.
Stratum II. A floor bedding of mortar, overlain with fragments of pottery vessels that dated to the Persian period, was exposed below Stratum I.
Stratum III. A number of fieldstones that may have been a poorly preserved wall were exposed in the southern part of the western square. Some potsherds that dated to the Iron Age were recovered and the wall (?) should probably be dated to the same period.
Due to the limited scale of the excavated area and the damage to the ancient remains, the excavation results should be regarded with caution.