During February 2012, a salvage excavation was conducted at Giv‘at Allonim in Qiryat Ata (Permit No. A-6431; map ref. 213340–759/746259–650), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Sharbiv Company, was directed by L. Talmi, with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), A. Oshri (preliminary inspections), A. Dagot (GPS), A. Peretz (field photography), R. Mishayev (surveying) and N. Zak (drafting). Additional help was rendered by A. Gorzalczany, P. Gendelman, U. ‘Ad and K. Sa‘id.
Seven rock-hewn winepresses were exposed c. 100 m west of the excavation (Permit No. A-6212; Fig. 1). Other excavations were carried out in the vicinity (HA-ESI 115:71*–72*) and wall foundations, stone heaps, caves, cisterns, quarries and rock-hewn tombs were exposed. Winepresses, a well and a rock-hewn trough were documented in a former survey (Olami Y. and Gal Z. 2003. Map of Shefar‘am , Sites 49, 50).
Installations associated with agricultural activity, including a rock-hewn winepress, a stone clearance heap, a monogram and field wall, were exposed (Fig. 2).
The winepress (L102; Fig. 3) consists of a treading floor (2.1×2.8 m, depth 0.05 m) and a channel that is hewn in its southern side leads to a collecting vat (1.15×1.30 m, depth 0.5 m). Several potsherds dating to the Byzantine period were found. A similar winepress was exposed at Modi‘in (HA-ESI 117
The stone clearance heap (L103; height c. 1.5 m) was composed of small fieldstones. Several potsherds that could not be dated were found.
The monogram was etched on the bedrock (L104; 0.2×0.2 m; Figs. 4, 5). Remains of Greek letters were discerned within the quadrants of a cross. A similar monogram was found in an excavation nearby (Permit No. A-6212). The exposure of the monogram supports the hypothesis that a monastery was in the region, which engaged in agricultural activity during the Byzantine period.
The field wall was built of medium and large fieldstones (L105; width 1 m). Walls of this type were meant to delineate cultivation plots.