Two areas (A, B) were opened, following the mechanical test trenching of the area supervised by L. Zak, revealing archaeological remains. Area A contained five squares (A–E) and only two squares (F, G) were excavated in Area B (Fig. 1).
Topsoil was removed to varying depths by mechanical equipment; thence, the five squares were excavated manually. Sq A was excavated to a depth of 4 m below surface, Sqs B and C were dug 2.2 m deep, Sq D reached 1.1 m in depth and Sq E was excavated to 2.5 m below surface. Virgin soil was not reached in any of the five squares; nonetheless, 5 strata were distinguished, two of which displayed architectural features.
Stratum 1. Topsoil with hardly any archaeological features exposed in all squares.
Stratum 2. Remains of a subterranean heating room or hypocaust that appeared at a depth of c. 1.6 m below surface (Fig. 2) were exposed in Sqs A, B, C and E. Pottery fragments, including glazed wares, Mefjer jars and oil lamps, were found in fills and on a floor, dating the architecture to the Early Islamic period (eighth–ninth centuries CE).
Stratum 3. Stone walls, a floor and a storage facility from the Late Byzantine period were uncovered in Sq A. The pottery associated with these features consisted of typical Gaza storage jar fragments, as well as a few ribbed and bag-shaped storage jars that were located one beside the other and upside down in the northwestern corner of Sq A. The pottery dated the architectural remains to the fifth–seventh centuries CE.
Stratum 4. A layer of sterile, yellow sands and hamra soil was revealed only in Sq A.
Stratum 5. A thick fill, dating to the Byzantine period, was exposed only in Sq A.
The excavation in Area B did not reach virgin soil as well. Two strata were distinguished, the topmost one yielded architectural features.
Stratum 1. Stone walls dating to the Late Byzantine period were possibly contemporary with St. 3 in Area A
Stratum 2. Fill mixed with numerous potsherds, dating exclusively to Iron Age I/II (Sq G). Lack of time prevented the exposure of the basal layers in this stratum.