Stratum I (Fig. 3)
The scant architectural remains in this stratum include a stone floor layer (L101), composed of small and medium basalt stones and limestone that were hard packed (thickness 0.25 m; Fig. 4). Between the stones of the floor were many potsherds and flint, with only a scant amount of animal bones. Notable were patches of a white phytolithic material. The excavated debris was entirely sieved (large mesh, 1 sq cm) to maximize retrieval of finds. The removal of Floor 101 revealed that it was overlaying the friable basalt bedrock (L102; Fig. 5).
The pottery assemblage (Fig. 6) is dated solely to the Intermediate Bronze Age and bears characteristics of contemporary assemblages in the Jezre’el Valley, such as handmade pottery with wheel finishing, applied rope and incised decorations. The surface of the potsherds was not well preserved and if red-painted decoration was applied to the vessels, it has completely deteriorated. The bowls include large open bowls with thickened rims (Fig. 6:1–5); one bowl has a ledge handle at the rim (Fig. 6:6). Additional vessels include diverse forms of holemouth jars (Fig. 6:7–10) and globular cooking pots with a flaring rim (Fig. 6:11, 12). The store jars (Fig. 6:13–19), some with applied thumb-indented bands at the join between neck and shoulder (Fig. 6:14), have either folded envelope ledge handles (Fig. 6:20, 21) or flattened loop handles (Fig. 6:22). Of the smaller closed vessels only the handles were recorded, the flattened incised loop handle of jugs (Fig. 6:23) and the vertical triangular sectioned handles of amphoriskoi (Fig. 6:24, 25).
A number of reworked rounded potsherds (Fig. 7:1–3) perhaps functioned as stoppers. One reworked rounded potsherd (Fig. 7:4) has signs of drilling at the center, as visible from both sides; this is probably a spindle whorl that was not completed. The flints were scarce and included debitage, cores, notches and a Canaanaen blade.
Despite the small scale of the present excavation, it is proposed that the stone level from Stratum I is part of a larger manmade stone floor, which is comparable to extensive stone levels excavated at a contemporary site, ‘Ein el-Hilu (Migdal Ha-‘Emeq), at the northern perimeter of the Jezreel Valley. There, these floor levels were identified as working areas for the processing of agricultural produce and additional secondary products, as evidenced from the placement of large stone mortars in association with the stone floors. These stone levels were part of communal areas used by all inhabitants of the small hamlet (Covello-Paran K. 2009. Socio-Economic Aspects of an Intermediate Bronze Age Village in the Jezreel Valley. In P. Parr, ed. The levant in Transition. Leeds. Pp. 9–20). Similar to ‘Ein el-Hilu, the location of the present excavation is also at the outskirts of the site, on the opposite bank of Nahal Tevet. It is proposed that the stone level at ‘En Ha-More north is also the remains of an area for processing secondary products, e.g., threshing, located at the site’s perimeter, east of the built-up part.
In addition, the recording of rock-cut tombs in the north slopes of Giv‘at Ha-More, south of the site, which are also dated to the Intermediate Bronze Age, upholds the well-documented pattern of settlement at the join between slope and lowland, with burial grounds above the site, as at ‘Ein el-Hilu.
The small-scale excavation at ‘En Ha-More north reinforces the documented pattern of small sedentary sites along the margins of the Jezre’el Valley at the end of the third millennium BCE. These settlements are located at the lower slopes of the hills surrounding the valley, close to springs (‘En Ha-More) and in proximity to the fertile lands of the valley floor. The rock-hewn cemeteries of these sites are mostly found at the upper part of the hills, overlooking the settlement.