A trial excavation was conducted in March 2002 at Horbat Ashun (West), next to Modi‘in (Permit No. A-3610*; map ref. NIG 19780–5/64505–9; OIG 14780–5/14505–9), following the discovery of ancient remains during the course of development work. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the Ministry of Construction and Housing, was directed by T. Kanias, assisted by A. Hajian (surveying) and T. Sagiv (photography).
Ancient remains discerned in two locations consisted of a cave and walls. The cave had a shaft, leading from its narrow oval opening to a rock-cut step (height 1 m) that opened into an oval-shaped chamber (height 1 m), which contained an accumulation of large stones and alluvium with human bones. This discovery caused the suspension of the excavation, which precluded the determination of age and gender of the interments and the assessment of size and contents of the cave. A probe cut into the accumulation revealed a few pottery fragments from the Byzantine period.
A terrace wall built of fieldstones (0.4 × 0.5m) was visible on surface (W10; Fig. 1), c. 100 m south of the cave. Two other fieldstone walls (W11, W12) were exposed and probably served for demarcating boundaries between agricultural plots.