In the northern section of the survey Highway 38 crosses Tell Bet Shemesh, a large site of importance to biblical archaeology. The site has been excavated by multiple expeditions and most recently by Tel Aviv University, which uncovered a segment of the site's ancient fortification wall (Fig. 1: 1). Survey in around the site was limited to the northern, southern, and western slopes. Multiple field and terrace walls were noticed (Fig. 1: 3, 4), built of large and medium fieldstones. Remains of rock-cutquarries and of quarrying activities (Fig. 1: 6, 7) were noted mainly on the site's western slope. Multiple rock-cut tombs (Fig. 1: 2) were documented and it seems that the southwestern area of the site (Fig. 1: 5) served as the acropolis of the site (Fig 2). The burial caves seem to share a common plan, including rectangular corridors and arched entranceways. In addition to the caves, multiple rock-cut agricultural installations and quarries were found in the area.
Farther south, the planned construction intersects the site of ‘Enot Deqalim (Fig. 1: 11; HA-ESI 20:109*–110*) that surrounds a natural spring (dry at the time of the survey). Remains of multiple structures, terrace walls, a pool, and a well were recorded at the site. In addition, a scattering of potsherds and flint tools from the Chalcolithic period was noticed. The well, built of nicely dressed stones, was found inside a structure with an arched entranceway. Another similar well (Fig. 1: 10), also contained within a structure and probably constructed during the British Mandate era, indicates a high groundwater level in the area (Fig. 3).
To the south of ‘Enot Deqalim, near the entrance to the Beit Jimal Monastery, a large domestic structure (Fig. 1: 13), probably an Arab house, was spotted on the western slope of a moderate hill (Fig. 4). Multiple carved lines in the bedrock were perhaps installations related to the structure. A wall (fig. 1: 14) built of large ashlar blocks was uncovered in the section of a small pit, probably dug by antiquity looters. To the west of Beit Jimal, two crushing basins (yam) from olive presses were found (Fig. 1: 12, 15). At Site 12, the rounded basin (diam. 1.5 m) was found partially broken. Nearby, a bodeda that consisted of a shallow rectangular crushing surface (1.0×1.7 m) and a small rounded collection vat (diam. 0.5 m) was found. At Site 15, the rounded basin (diam. 2 m) was found underneath a field wall built of medium-sized fieldstones.
To the east of Moshav Zekharya, a large scattering of cut masonry stones was noticed (Fig. 1: 33). The stones of no indentifiable order, may be the remains of a ancient structuire or the resut of modern dumping activity.
Two large structures (Fig. 1: 25, 32) were documented during the survey. Amung the debris and stone collapse at Site 25, a large stone lintel was found. Around the structre, the tops of additional walls could be clearly seen on the surface. Abutting the structure at Site 32, are the remains of a stone-built ramp (length 15 m, width 5 m). The function of the ramp, although clearly related to the structure, is undefinable without excavtion.
Multiple caves(Fig. 1: 16, 19, 27, 30), including a burial cave (Fig. 1: 28) were found. A round shaft cut into the ceiling of Cave 19 may indicate that the cave may have originally served as a water cistern (Fig. 5). The other caves seem to have been used for storage.
Two watchtowers (Fig. 1: 17, 31) were discerned in the survey. At Site 17, the round tower (diam. 2 m) was built into the line of a field wall and was preserved 1 m high (Fig. 6). The watchtower at Site 31 had a square plan (4×4 m) and was preserved 2.5 m high.
On the eastern slope of a moderate hill, a partially hewn round limekiln (Fig. 1: 9) was found. The limekiln's superstructure (inner diam. 4 m) was built of medium-sized fieldstones. A rounded wall was found to the north and it could be the partial remains of another limekiln. Potsherds from the Ottoman period were scattered on the surface n the area of the limekiln.
The top of a field wall (Fig. 1: 23), built of a single row of ashlars (length 20 m), was identified on the surface.
A number or rock-hewn installations were documented during the survey, including multiple rounded cupmarks (Fig. 1: 20, 22, 29). The cupmarks (diam. 0.3–0.4 m) were hewn into both natural bedrock and boulders. At Site 24, a line carved into the limestone bedrock (length 4 m) may indicate a quarry or the presence of another installation. A rock-cut water cistern (Fig. 1: 18) was identified by a round shaft (diam. 0.7 m) carved into the bedrock. The cistern seems to have a bell-shaped section. Another installation (Fig. 1: 26) was found badly damaged and its function is unclear. Two rock-hewn winepresses (Fig. 1: 8, 21) were noted. The winepresses share a common plan, including a rectangular treading floor and a collection vat that is connected to the floor by a narrow channel.
Similar to the northern part of the survey, many terrace walls (not documented) that dominate the regional topography were noticed in all areas of the survey. Most of the terrace walls were built of fieldstones and attest to the area’s intensive history of agriculture. Scattered terrace walls were located in the area between Moshav Zekharya and the Ela Valley. The lack of sites in the area is probably due to the limited scope of the survey and the current use of the land for modern agricultural purposes. In addition, winepresses that are common to the region and usually hewn in bedrock outcrops were found. While dating these installations is problematic without proper excavation, they may attest to the importance of wine production in the region. The winepresses were generally small in size, indicative of small-scale local wine production. As the survey is limited to sites apparent upon the surface, additional sites may be buried under the earth. The great range of sites documented in the survey testifies to the region’s ancient history in both domestic and agricultural contexts.