In October–November 2011, trial excavations were conducted in a tributary of Nahal Zippori, c. 2.5 km south of Somekh Junction (Permit Nos. A-6244, A-6260; map ref. 2135–41/7431–4), prior to the installation of the Eshkol Reservoir–Somekh Reservoir pipeline. The excavations, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Mekorot Water Company, were directed by I. Bisharat (photography) and O. Barzilai, with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration), R. Mishayev (surveying and drafting), W. Atrash, O. Marder and Z. Horowitz (scientific guidance) and H. Khalaily (flint tools).
Site 15. A scatter of pottery sherds dating to the Roman period was discovered in the survey. No ancient finds were found in the excavation.
Site 16. A flint quarry (c. 20 sq m; Fig. 2) which showed marks of nodules-quarrying was discovered in a limestone outcrop. Broken flint tools, cores, flakes and chunks were exposed.
Site 17. Two excavation squares (2.5 × 10.0 m) were opened, and a wall (W123; length > 10 m, width 1.2–1.3 m; Figs. 3, 4), built of two rows of large fieldstones, with a small-fieldstones core of was exposed. The wall was founded on a rock surface, and was oriented northwest–southeast. It was preserved to a height of one course and continued beyond the excavation baundaries. Few sherds of Roman-period pottery were discovered at the top of the wall and between the stones. It seems that the wall was related to agricultural activity in Nahal Zippori during the Roman period, and was a terrace wall or a fence dividing farming plots.
Site 18. Four squares were excavated, and a flint quarry and remains of a road were discovered. Marks of quarrying flint nodules, as well as broken nodules, were found in the quarry (c. 25 sq m; Fig. 5). The quarry sloped southward in its southern part, where a large quantity of flint tools, flakes and flint fragments dating to the Chalcolithic period were found. The road (width c. 4 m) ran in an east–west direction and passed slightly south of the quarry (Fig. 6). It was bounded by two walls whose foundations were partly on soil fill and partly on the bedrock. They were built of one row of medium and large limestone fieldstones (Fig. 7). The road was constructed partly of soil laid over a bedding of small fieldstones, and partly taking advantage of existing limestone surfaces (Figs. 8, 9). Several abraded pottery sherds dating to the Roman period were discovered in the fieldstone foundation. The road probably linked the settlements in the vicinity.
Site 19. One excavation square (2.0 × 2.5 m; Fig. 10) was opened, exposing a raised surface that was built over the bedrock. It was made of one course of large fieldstones, with small stones in between. The eastern side of the surface rested against a wall (Fig. 11) built of medium-sized fieldstones without mortar. Two pottery sherds from the Ottoman period were discovered between the stones.
Site 20. One excavation square (5 × 6 m) was opened. A square natural depression, filled with soil mixed with fieldstones and flint fragments, was exposed in the hard limestone bedrock.