Area D (Figs. 1, 2)
Stratum D4. The corner of a large building (W12, W14) and another wall (W19) that was built parallel to it were exposed. The walls, founded on bedrock, were revealed in close proximity to surface. Numerous potsherds from the Late Roman period (Fig. 3:1–6) and a worn bronze coin from the first or second century CE (IAA 102886) were discovered between Walls 14 and 19 (L21) and in a bedrock hollow east of W14 (L17).
Stratum D3. Many rock-hewn installations and walls of an olive press that were damaged during the later phases of the village were exposed. The floors of the olive press were also used in later periods. It was impossible to reconstruct the general plan of the olive press, since it may have had several phases of operation. Wall 12 continued to be used in this stratum and it probably delimited the olive press from the north. A pit (L25; depth c. 1.1 m) was discovered in the northern part of the olive press; a Bet Ha-‘Emeq-type olive press weight with a trapezoid mortise for securing the screw was in its northern side. The base of the weight was discovered at an elevation of c. 0.3 m above the bottom of the pit and a few potsherds from the Byzantine period were found in the soil beneath it. West of Pit 25 was a rectangular pit (L20; 1.3 × 2.5 m, depth 0.6 m), blocked with two large stones in which square perforations were hewn; the western stone had been removed by a bulldozer that damaged the ancient remains during the work at the site and was subsequently stolen. A curved channel was hewn in the eastern stone and its square perforation was deliberately blocked with a stone. These stones may originally have been part of a screw press that was operated by direct pressure and later, were used in secondary use to create a straight surface. A rock-hewn plastered pool (L28) was to the south of Pit 25. A press (L23, L24; Fig. 4) that was operated by direct pressure was exposed west of the pool. The installation included a round press bed (L23), surrounded by a hewn channel, which connected to another channel that led to a small sump and onward to a deep collecting vat (L24). Square hewn mortises on either side of the press bed were meant to secure the press frame. Two phases were discerned in Collecting Vat 24; a pit (depth 1.1 m) was hewn in the first phase, and was made deeper in the second phase (total depth 1.7 m). Thereafter, the sides of the vat were coated with plaster, which was reinforced with potsherds that dated to the Byzantine period. Two phases were discerned in another plastered collecting vat (L31), which was very similar to Vat 24. Vat 31 was near the southwestern side of the press bed and a small settling vat was hewn next to it; however, no press bed was connected to it. A bedrock surface (L30; Fig. 5), with a crushing basin (yam) installed upon it, was exposed in the south of the excavation. A circular crushing stone (memmel) of hard dolomite with a square depression and a circular perforation in the center was employed in secondary use as a base for the yam. Flat, concave and elongated kurkar stones were arranged around the crushing stone and a step was hewn in their upper part, serving as the side of the basin; only three stones were preserved in situ. The crushing stone and the stones around it were set in plaster. The southeastern part of the excavation area (L33) was lower than the bedrock to its west and its excavation was not completed.
Stratum D3 was dated to the Byzantine period, based on the potsherds discovered in Pit 25. Many of the pottery fragments recovered from Stratum D2 should also be ascribed to this stratum, including a bowl (Fig. 3:7) and a bronze follis from the sixth century CE (IAA 102885).
Stratum D2. The remains of four walls (W26, W27, W29 and W32), carelessly built of ashlar stones in secondary use, were exposed above the olive press installations in Stratum D3. A deep rock-hewn channel (L18; c. 1.2 m), which apparently led to a cellar located south of the excavation, was excavated in the western part of the area. The olive press’ crushing basin, which was left in place, was seemingly used for a different purpose. It seems that the remains in this stratum belonged to a settlement that was established after the olive-press installations were no longer in use.
The ceramic finds in Stratum D2 were diverse and included a krater with an accentuated shoulder decorated with wavy incising (Fig. 6:1), a pinkish clay bowl with a disk base that bore circular incisions (Fig. 6:2), an Egyptian Red Slip bowl (Fig. 6:3), made of light colored clay and burnished, a bowl decorated with chip-carving(kerbschnitt; Fig. 6:4), a Fine Byzantine Ware cup (Fig. 6:5), open and closed cooking vessels (Fig. 6:6–11), ribbed jars with a tall neck and a plain rim (Fig. 6:12–14), a flask (Fig. 6:15), buff-ware jugs and juglets with a filter; many are decorated with incising (Fig. 6:16–20), a lamp with a conical handle (Fig. 6:21) and a zoomorphic vessel of well-levigated clay (Fig. 6:22). The ceramic finds dated to the eighth century CE. The absences of light colored jugs decorated with red painting, which are typical to the seventh century CE, as well as glazed bowls that prevail as of the ninth CE, reinforce the dating of the assemblage to the eighth century CE.
The glass finds consist of vessel fragments, as well as industrial waste that included lumps of raw glass that were brought to the site for melting and lumps of glass with remains from the bottom and sides of the furnace adhering to them. The glass vessels include a wine goblet with a solid base (Fig. 7:1); a wine goblet with a hollow base ring; stem lamps that have a solid stem pinched at the end or along the length to form a kind of ridge or beads; a small bottle whose rim is folded in and flattened, with a short cylindrical neck and a globular body (Fig. 7:2); bottles with a cylindrical neck decorated with horizontal trails of glass or a wavy trail and a rim that is curved or folded in; bowls decorated with a tonged decoration that have a pinched elliptical pattern below the rim (Fig. 7:3); and a body fragment with repeated decoration of two rows of short horizontal dashes (Fig. 7:4). The glass vessels are dated to the Late Byzantine and Umayyad periods (seventh and first half of eighth centuries CE).
Based on the finds, Stratum D2 was dated to the eighth century CE—the end of the Umayyad and the beginning of the Abbasid periods.
Stratum D1 was damaged due to its proximity to surface. The foundations of a building (W13, W15), whose floor was apparently higher than the present day ground level, were exposed. No datable finds were discovered.
Area E
This area (c. 2.5 × 3.0 m) was opened c. 25 m west of Area D, because a bulldozer damaged an ashlar wall. A stone pavement that was founded on bedrock and adjoined the wall was exposed. The ceramic finds were meager and of no value in dating the remains.
Area F
An underground water reservoir (volume c. 90 cu m), damaged by a bulldozer during the earthmoving work, was excavated c. 100 m west of Area D. The reservoir was hewn in chalk bedrock, except for its western side that was built of ashlar stones. Its sides and bottom were coated with three layers of carefully smoothed plaster. Numerous potsherds from the Byzantine period were embedded in the middle plaster layer, which apparently dated the construction of the reservoir. A floor of medium-sized stones was set in the reservoir in a later phase and it seems that the installation was converted for use as a storage facility or as a dwelling. A few potsherds from the Crusader and Mamluk periods were gathered from the stone pavement.