During March 2012, a salvage excavation was conducted along the southern side of the Hadera cemetery (Permit No. A-6451; map ref. 193399–407/704082–90), in the wake of damaging ancient remains when installing a water pipe. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Mē Hadera Corporation, was directed by M. Masarwa (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), R. Mishayev (surveying and drafting), P. Gendelman (ceramics) and N. Zak (drafting).
The excavation was conducted in the middle of ‘Hadera Cemetery’, a declared antiquities site. Remains of a winepress, severely damaged by work at the site (Figs. 1, 2), were exposed. The site was surveyed within the the Map of Hadera (Survey of the Map of Hadera , Site 67), and scatters of building stones and potsherds dating to the Roman and Byzantine periods were documented. An excavation was conducted at the site in 2011, revealing architectural remains and an olive press from the Roman and Byzantine periods (Permit No. A-6253).
A square collecting vat (L501; 3.35×3.75 m) and part of a small settling pit (L502) were all that survived of the winepress. The collecting vat was enclosed on three sides by walls built of fieldstones and white mortar (W100–102; width 0.4 m, preserved height 0.9 m) and coated on the inside with white plaster (thickness 2 mm), which was hardly preserved. The floor of the vat sloped to the west and was paved with white tesserae (0.3×0.4 cm) that were set on a bedding of tamped hamra (thickness 0.2 m). Part of a step, which belonged to a staircase that originally descended into the vat, was preserved on the northeastern corner of the floor. Part of the settling pit’s mosaic floor was exposed in the southwestern corner of the collecting vat. The bottom of the settling pit was c. 0.4 m lower that of the collecting vat. The settling pit had been severely damaged by the work at the site. The winepress’ treading floor was apparently located east of the collecting vat. This assumption is based on the fact that the floor of the vat sloped to the west and that the settling pit was located west of the collecting vat. Tesserae were discovered in soil fill excavated east of the collecting vat. Fragments of jars dating to the Byzantine period (fifth–seventh centuries CE) were discovered in the excavation. It seems that the winepress was part of an agricultural complex, possibly that of a farm. An agricultural area extends east of the site where small farmhouses and agricultural installations were built (see ESI 20:39*–40*).