The excavation area and the spur above it were surveyed by the Palestine Exploration Fund, and the area was referred to as Dhahret ‘Abid. A columbarium cave, which could not be located, was documented in the excavation area within the Survey of Jerusalem (A. Kloner 2001. Survey of Jerusalem, the Southern Sector, p. 16, Map 105: Site 6).
Winepress 1 (L110; Figs. 6, 7). A small winepress with a collecting vat in the corner, which was crudely hewn in a hard limestone outcrop. The treading floor (L110; 1.40×1.95 m) and collecting vat (0.72×0.87 m, depth 0.6 m) were connected by way of a channel. The western side of the treading floor was hewn to a considerable depth (0.6 m), whereas its eastern side was hewn to a depth of a several centimeters. A narrow channel hewn on the edge of the collecting vat led to a treading floor of an adjacent winepress (2).
Winepress 2 (L111; Figs. 6, 7). A medium-sized winepress, hewn lower than Winepress 1 in a hard limestone outcrop. It consisted of a shallow square treading floor (L111; 3.4×3.5 m, depth 0.1 m) and a square collecting vat; it could not be excavated because of a tree growing inside it. A fissure in the middle of the floor was sealed with plaster, mixed with potsherds and charcoal. The surplus must have flowed from the collecting vat of Winepress 1 to the treading floor of Winepress 2, and thus it seems that the two winepresses operated simultaneously.
Winepress 3 (L125; Figs. 8, 9). A small rectangular winepress, crudely hewn in a hard limestone outcrop. It consisted of a shallow treading floor (L125; 1.8×1.9 m) and a collecting vat (0.97×1.45 m, depth 0.49 m), connected by a short channel. The treading floor sloped toward the collecting vat. A farming terrace retaining wall (W119) was documented 4 m west of the winepress.
Watchman’s Hut (L114; Figs. 10, 11). A small elliptical watchman’s hut (inner dimensions 1.3×1.9 m) built along the continuation of a low farming terrace wall (W113).The watchman’s hut was built of two rows of different size fieldstones in dry construction and founded on the bedrock. It was preserved to a maximum of four courses high (0.67 m). The western part of the wall was built on a hewn terrace. The floor of the hut utilized the bedrock, which was meticulously hewn and straightened.The wall of the watchman’s hut leaned against the northern end of Terrace Wall 113 and therefore it seems that the construction of the hut postdated that of the wall. The entrance to the hut (width 0.6 m) was set in its southern side, between the end of W113 and a large stone that was placed at the end of the hut’s wall. A rectangular rock-cutting, probably for a door hinge, was exposed on a bedrock surface in front of the entrance. Potsherds dating to the Roman and Byzantine periods were discovered in the walls of the hut. After the structure was no longer in use, it was filled with stones. Two modern iron cooking pots were discovered on the floor of the hut, indicating it ceased to be used in the modern era.
Quarry 1 (L112; Fig. 6). A small quarry in a hard limestone outcrop, located north of Winepress 2. Separating channels of several large rectangular stones are apparent in the bedrock.
Quarry 2 (L113; Fig. 6). A quarry located south of Winepress 2. Narrow, deep separating channels were visible around blocks of stone.
Quarry 3 (L122; Figs. 12, 13). Building stones were hewn in this quarry. Stones were hewn to a greater depth in the northern and western parts of the quarry than in its southern and eastern parts. Rectangular stones, whose quarrying was incomplete, were visible in the southern part of the quarry. The stones, mostly arranged in a row, were surrounded by separating channels. The two southernmost stones (0.40×1.43 m) were larger than the rest.
Cave 1 (L115; Figs. 14, 15). A small elliptical cave (2.20×3.45 m, height 2.46 m) hewn in a wall of limestone bedrock; it was located c. 20 m north of Winepresses 1 and 2. The cave consisted of a small central chamber flanked by two small niches. The opening was not preserved. A low short wall of small stones—a kind of shelf—was haphazardly built next to the northeastern side of the cave. Part of the cave collapsed and as a result alluvium accumulated in its interior (L105). Fragments of jars and a juglet fragment from Iron Age II were discovered beneath the alluvium layer, indicating the latest use of the cave. A layer of modern refuse was exposed above the alluvium layer. The must collected in nearby Winepresses 1 and 2 might have been stored in the cave during fermentation. Pits or caves that were used for storing jars of must during the fermentation process were discovered near many winepresses, and that is because shaking the must before it turned into wine would affect its quality.
Cave 2 (L119; Figs. 16–18). A large cave hewn in a chalk outcrop and located 8 m north of Winepress 3. The cave’s opening was not preserved. The cave consisted of a large central chamber with several small niches (L120, L121) hewn in its walls. The floor (L128) utilized the bedrock and sloped gently to the east. A low retaining wall (W111) of small fieldstones was built next to the eastern side of the cave. Joining W111 was a small cell (L124; 0.90×0.94 m) built of fieldstones that might have been used as a manger. Another retaining wall (W118) was built next to the northern side of the cave. The cave was filled with rendzina soil alluvium that accumulated in the modern era. The cave’s ceiling had collapsed and based on the dark patina shade on the cross-section of the fractured rock, it seems to have occurred in antiquity. This cave might also have been used to store and ferment the must collected in Winepress 3. After the ceiling collapsed the cave was apparently used as an animal pen.
Farming Terrace Walls (W113, W114; see Fig. 5). A farming terrace wall (W113) next to the watchman’s hut was excavated. The wall was built of two rows of small and medium fieldstones in dry construction and founded on a sloping bedrock surface. Another terrace wall (W114) was excavated north of the watchman’s hut. It was built of one row of medium and large fieldstones, placed directly on the rocky slope, along the same contour line as W113. Potsherds from the Late Roman and Byzantine periods were discovered while dismantling sections of the two walls. Potsherds from the Roman and Byzantine periods and the modern era were discovered in the eroded soil that accumulated in the vicinity of the walls. Wall 113, which predated the construction of the watchman’s hut, was built at the earliest in the Byzantine period and continued to be used to date.
The excavation indicates that the area was utilized for agriculture in the Iron Age, as well as in the Roman and Byzantine periods and the modern era.