During February 2012, a trial excavation was conducted on the northwestern fringes of Qibbuz Sasa (Permit No. A-6420; map ref. 237185–209/770600–27), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by Qibbuz Sasa, was directed by H. Bron, with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration) and R. Mishayev (surveying and drafting).
Qibbuz Sasa is situated in the upper Galilee; the mountain upon which the Qibbuz is set, has been occupied throughout history, from the Middle Bronze Age to modern times; the latest village on the mountain was abandoned in 1948.
Excavations at the site revealed a synagogue on the summit and burial caves on the lower terraces of the northern and southern parts of the Qibbuz
28-29:4 [Hebrew]) and settlement remains from the Mamluk period (HA-ESI 118).
Three areas (A–C) were opened. A rock section was cleared in Area A, on the suspicion of a rock-cut burial cave (L100; Fig. 1); two squares were excavated in Area B (Fig. 1) and a threshing floor was revealed in Area C (Fig. 2).
Area A. The rock cutting proved to be associated with water. A small circular cupmark was encountered within this rock cutting (Fig. 3). The purpose of the cutting in the rock was to remove the layer of accumulation between the chalk layers, thereby controlling the flow of the aquifer and directing it by means of a small channel to the lower levels for irrigation.
Area B. This area, below Area A, was located on a terrace (10×50 m) and two squares (B1, B2) were excavated (Figs. 1, 4); bedrock was reached at a depth of 0.3 m. A rock hewn channel is situated to the south of the squares and a terrace wall (W203) of an unknown date is located above it. Some Rashaya el-Fukhar ware potsherds were discovered within the stones, presumably indicating a date within the last century.
Area C. This area is located c. 50 m to the west. A threshing floor, set on bedrock and enclosed by a roughly constructed terrace wall (W301) of unknown date, was exposed (Figs. 2, 5)
Throughout the excavation only very sparse potsherds were retrieved, mainly non-diagnostic body fragments.
The excavation at Sasa revealed a sophisticated irrigation system that was used for centuries, probably from the Roman period down to the middle of the twentieth century CE. Although the threshing floor can not be dated, it seems to have belonged to the later historical stages of the site, possibly during the last century.