An excavation area (5×10 m) was opened in a lot slated for construction, c. 100 m west of the spring. In the absence of archaeological supervision, the upper stratum (thickness c. 1.5 m) was destroyed when the lot was being prepared for construction. Remains of ancient construction are still visible in the western balk of the lot, whence numerous fragments of pottery vessels that date to the eighth century CE were collected. Remains of floors that abutted the walls were exposed in the excavation.
Remains of three settlement phases were exposed in the excavation area (Fig. 1):
The Roman Period. A wall (W28) and an adjoining tamped earthen floor (L20) were exposed; both were built directly on the bedrock. A layer of crumbly soil mixed with ash that had accumulated on top of the floor contained a yellowish colored fragment of a store jar (Fig. 2:15) that dated to the Middle Roman period (second–third centuries CE). Upon dismantling the floor and the bedding beneath it (L21), potsherds that included fragments of two cooking pots (Fig. 2:6, 7), dating to the Middle Roman period (second–third centuries CE), a spindle bottle (Fig. 2:8) from the Early Roman period, a double handle of an amphora from the Isle of Kos, dating to the Hellenistic period and a mortarium base dating to the Persian period, were collected.
The Umayyad Period (seventh–eighth centuries CE). Two construction layers were identified:
Stratum I. A wall (W24) that was founded on the bedrock and a ‘window wall’ (W25), exposed 1.2 m to its east, with remains of two windows (width c. 0.7 m) above its courses, were uncovered. A tamped earth floor (L23) between the two walls was overlain with fragments of two black jars decorated with white stripes (Fig. 2:11, 14) and a black krater decorated with wavy combing (Fig. 2:4). East of Wall 25, ‘the window wall’, was a floor of flagstones (L26; size of slabs 0.3×0.5 m), overlain with a rim of a black jar (Fig. 2:10) that dated to the seventh–eighth centuries CE and a large iron plow (length c. 0.5 m; Fig. 3).
Stratum II. Part of a large terraced building that consisted of two levels was exposed. The building negated the walls of Stratum I and was founded on top of the Roman level. The walls of the building were damaged when the lot was prepared for construction prior to the excavation. In the upper western level of the building was a room (length c. 3 m) whose eastern wall (W13) and the walls that adjoined it in the south (W12) and the north (W14) were exposed. These walls were abutted by a floor of different size basalt flagstones (L11), overlain with part of a red-slipped bowl (Fig. 2:1) and a fragment of a black storage jar (Fig. 2:12), dating to the seventh–eighth centuries CE.
A wall (W17) of coarsely worked basalt, haphazardly built, was exposed on the lower eastern level. The wall abutted Wall 13 of the upper level and was covered with stone collapse (L16) that contained jar fragments (Fig. 2:9, 13).Wall 17 was abutted from the south by a tamped earth floor mixed with ash from a tabun (L22). The floor sealed or canceled Walls 24 and 25 of Stratum I and was overlain withfragments of two bowls (Fig. 2:2, 3), a krater (Fig. 2:5), a cooking pot lid and roof tiles that date to the seventh–eighth centuries CE.
Three settlement phases in the excavation area consisted of two from the Early Islamic period and one from the Roman period, which was founded on the bedrock.