F6 (Figs. 3–5). Two trial squares were excavated along a wide road (width c. 5 m), which is visible on the surface for a distance of c. 400 m. The road began at Khirbat Umm edh-Dhiyab and led south. In the southern part of the excavation area the road turned west, probably in the direction of Horbat Bet Natif. Two walls built of a single row of fieldstones flanked the road (W11—width c. 0.5 m, height c. 0.75 m; W12—width c. 0.7 m, height c. 0.35 m). A layer of tamped earth and small stones (L60, L64) was discovered between the two walls. Below these walls and L64, two wide walls (W68—width 1 m, height 0.35 m; W69—width 1.2 m, height 0.3 m) were discovered. Walls 68 and 69 were constructed of two rows of fieldstones, founded on the bedrock. The two walls were c. 4 m apart, and between them was a leveled layer of crushed chalk and stones that was deposited on the bedrock (65, L66); a meager quantity of pottery sherds dating to the Byzantine period were found in this layer. Wall 69 was not found in the southern square, and it seems that it was destroyed in this section. The road was apparently constructed during the Byzantine period, and was later made wider.
F40 (Fig. 6). A trial square was excavated over an ancient road (width c. 2.5 m) that ran in a northeast–southwest direction and joined the wide road to its west in the southern part of the excavation area. The road was bound on the east by a retaining wall (W125; width 0.9 m, height 0.8 m) and on the west by protruding rocks (W124; height c. 0.5 m). Wall 125 was visible on the surface for a distance of c. 60 m. A layer of tamped earth and small stones (L402), which was identical to Strata 60 and 64 of the late phase in the wide road, was exposed between W125 and the rock outcrops. Remains of a small quarry (L403; 1.7 × 2.0 m) were discovered beneath the road.
F2 (Figs. 7, 8). At the top of the spur was a winepress, which consisted of a square treading floor (L3; 3.5 × 3.5 m, depth 0.75 m) and a square collecting vat (L4; 1.5 × 1.5 m, depth 2 m), connected by a hewn pipe (L2; diam. 0.1 m, length 0.2 m). Parts of a white mosaic, burnt plaster and fragments of pottery vessels from the Byzantine period were discovered in the collecting vat. The winepress was hewn inside an ancient quarry, where quarrying marks (L5) and a hewn stone (L6; 0.2 × 0.5 × 1.8 m) that was not detached from the bedrock were revealed.
F8 (Figs. 9, 10). On the eastern slope of the spur, near Terrace Wall 124, a rock-hewn winepress was uncovered. It included a treading floor (L80; c. 2.0 × 2.3 m, depth 0.5 m) and a collecting vat (L82; 1.0 × 1.2 m, depth 0.5 m), connected by a hewn pipe (L81; diam. c. 0.1 m, length c. 0.2 m). A small niche (L84; 0.6 × 1.0 m, height 1 m) was cut into the western wall of the treading floor, c. 0.2 m above its surface. A sump (L83; 0.15 × 0.15 m, depth 0.1 m) was hewn at the bottom of the collecting vat, and in the eastern wall there was a small rock-cut step (L87; 0.15 × 0.2 m, height 0.15 m), c. 0.5 m above the bottom of the vat. Approximately one meter west of the treading floor was a small rock-cut depression (L85; 0.5 × 0.5 m, depth 0.3 m). Next to the winepress were remains of an ancient quarry (L86, L88) that probably predate it.
F11 (Figs. 11, 12). On the western slope of a spur, c. 20 m west of the road and next to Terrace Wall 117, was a hewn winepress that included two treading floors (L110—2.5 × 2.7 m, depth 0.4 m; L111—2.2 × 3.0 m, max. depth 1 m), one of them shallow, and the other deep, and a collecting vat (L112; 1.5 × 2.3 m, depth c. 1 m). The two treading floors were connected by a channel that was partly natural and partly rock-cut (L116; 0.5 × 0.5 m, depth 0.25 m). Treading Floor 111 was connected to the collecting vat by a hewn twisting pipe (L113; diam. 0.15 m, length c. 0.5 m). At the bottom of the collecting vat were two hewn sumps, one below the pipe (L114; 0.45 × 0.70 m, depth 0.1 m) and the other in the southeastern corner (L 115; diam. 0.5 m, depth 0.15 m). Fragments of pottery vessels ascribed to the Byzantine period were discovered at the bottom of the treading floors. A shallow rock-hewn cupmark (L118; 0.25 m, depth 0.25 m) was located c. 5 m north of the winepress.
F22 (Figs. 13, 14). A small rock-hewn winepress was excavated at the top of the spur, c. 20 m east of the road. It consisted of a rectangular treading floor (L220; 2.2 × 2.5 m, depth 0.1 m) and a rectangular collecting vat (L222; 0.65 × 1.00 m, depth 1.4 m), connected by a hewn pipe (L221; diam. 0.15 m, length 0.2 m). At the bottom of the vat was a hewn sump (L225; 0.2 × 0.2 m, depth 8 cm), and on its walls were remains of plaster. The foundation layer of the plaster on the lower wall of the vat collapsed, and a layer of small stones and tamped earth (L223) was applied in its place; pottery sherds from the Early Roman period were discovered in it. Two recesses (L224—width 0.5 m, depth 0.5 m; L226—width 0.2 m, depth 0.5 m) were hewn next to the north wall of the treading floor.
F25 (Figs 15, 16). A large rock-hewn winepress, consisting of a rectangular treading floor (L250; 3.0 × 3.5 m, depth 0.25 m), a settling pit (L252; 0.75 × 1.00 m, depth 0.7 m) and a collecting vat (L251; c.1.00 × 1.65 m, depth c. 1.5 m), was excavated on the eastern slope of the spur. Two channels led from the treading floor, one to the settling pit and the other to the collecting vat. Another channel (L254; length 0.15 m, width 0.1 m, depth 0.1 m) connected the collecting vat to the settling pit. Two niches (L258—0.35 × 0.40 m, depth 0.40 m; L259—0.35 × 0.35 m, depth 0.25 m) were hewn in western wall of the treading floor, c. 0.5 m above floor level. These niches may be related to an installation that was meant to improve the grape treading process. A sump (L255; 0.2 × 0.3 m, depth 0.2 m) was hewn at the bottom of the collecting vat, and there was a small rock-cut step (L256; 0.25 × 0.50 m, height 0.5 m) in its southeastern corner. Another hewn collecting vat (L253; 1.5 × 1.7 m, depth c. 1 m), with plastered walls and white mosaic floor, was discovered slightly south of Collecting Vat L251 and the settling pit. No connection was detected between this vat and the others, and it may have been part of the winepress from an earlier phase, which went out of use after part of the treading floor had collapsed. A new collecting vat and settling pit were consequently installed. Several pottery fragments from the Byzantine period were discovered at the bottom of Collecting Vat 253.
F30 (Figs. 17, 18). A hewn winepress, consisting of a treading floor (L300; 3.25 × 3.50 m, depth 0.4 m), a settling pit (L302; 0.75 × 0.85 m, depth c. 1 m) and a collecting vat (L301; 1.00 x 1.25 m, depth c. 2 m), was exposed on the southeastern slope of the spur. From the treading floor, a small natural channel led to the settling pit, and a hewn pipe (L309; diam. c. 0.1 m, length 0.2 m) led to the collecting vat. A hewn pipe (L308; diam. c. 0.1 m, length 0.2 m) and a small channel (L310; length 0.2 m, width c. 0.1 m, depth c. 0.1 m) led from the settling pit to the collecting vat. A shallow rectangular depression (L306; 0.70 × 1.75 m, depth 0.2 m) was hewn next to the eastern wall of the treading floor, and inside that depression was another hewn circular depression (L307; diam. c. 0.5 m, depth c. 0.2 m). A round sump (L 303; diam. 0.5 m, depth c. 0.15 m) was hewn in the southwestern corner of the treading floor. Small depressions (L311–L314; c. 0.10 × 0.15 m, depth c. 0.15 m) were carved into the western wall of the treading floor, c. 0.15 m above its bottom. A sump (L304; diam. 0.2 m, depth 0.1 m) was hewn in the bottom of the settling pit. Remains of plaster were discovered on the sides of the vat, and a white mosaic was exposed at the bottom. A hewn rectangle (L305; 0.5 × 2.0 m, depth c. 0.5 m) discovered north of the treading floor may have been where jars were placed. Fragments of pottery from the Byzantine period were discovered at the bottom of the collecting vat and the settling pit.
F37 (Figs. 19, 20). A hewn winepress comprising a square treading floor (L370; 2.7 × 3.0 m, depth 0.5 m) and two collecting vats (L371—1.5 × 1.5 m, depth 0.75 m; L373—0.8 × 1.0 m, depth c. 1 m) was excavated next to Terrace Wall 127 and W128. A wide channel (L372; length c. 0.25 m, width 0.25 m, depth 0.15 m) led from the treading floor to Collecting Vat 371, and a narrow channel (L377; length 0.15 m, width c. 0.1 m, depth c. 0.1 m) led to Collecting Vat 373. The two collecting vats were joined by a hewn pipe (L375; diam. 0.15 m, width 0.15 m). Part of Collecting Vat 371 was deepened (L376; 0.4 × 0.6 m, depth 0.4 m). A round sump (L374; diam. c. 0.1 m, depth c. 0.1 m) was hewn in the bottom of Vat 373. Mosaic fragments and pottery sherds from the Byzantine period were discovered in both collecting vats.
F12. A rock-hewn cistern was discovered on the western slope of the spur, between Terrace Walls 117 and 122. The opening of the cistern (c. 1 × 1 m, height 0.5 m) was constructed of two courses of medium-sized fieldstones. The cistern was not excavated. It seems to have been in use over many periods including the modern era.
F32 (Fig. 21). A rock-hewn cistern was discovered at the edge of the southern slope of the spur. Its opening was rectangular (L321; depth 1.5 m), constructed of two courses of large fieldstones. A cupmark (L322; diam. 0.25 m, depth 0.25 m) was found near the cistern. The pit was not excavated because of safety reasons.
F4 (Fig. 22). Marks of stone quarrying (L43—c. 0.3 × 1.0 × 1.2 m; L44—c. 0.8 × 1.0 m) were discovered, and c. 10 m to the northeast, two rock-cut channels (L41—length c. 2 m, width c. 0.2 m, depth c. 0.4 m; L42—length c. 1 m, width c. 0.1 m, depth c. 0.2 m).
F7 (Figs. 23, 24). A shallow quarry (c. 8 × 20 m, depth 0.35 m) that extended over a large area was discovered. It was overlain with soil that contained sherds dating to the Byzantine period.
F44 (Fig. 25). A deep quarry (c. 0.8 × 2.5 m, depth c. 1.5 m) with a deep karstic depression (L442) in its western side. Pottery dating to the Byzantine period was recovered from the bottom of the quarry.
F3, F9, F21, F24, F26–F28, F38, F43. Another nine small quarries were revealed throughout the excavation area, all of them extended east of the wide road (Figs. 26–31).
F31 (Figs. 32, 33). A small rock-hewn bodeda (an installation to extract olive oil)was exposed in a rock outcrop. It consisted of a shallow round treading floor (L311; diam. c. 1 m, depth c. 0.2 m) and a cupmark (L313; diam. c. 0.5 m, depth c. 0.5 m), connected by a natural channel (L312).
F36 (Fig. 34). A rock-hewn bodeda, consisting of a square treading floor (L360; c. 0.8 × 0.8 m, depth c. 0.15 m) and a small cupmark (L361; diam. c. 0.25 m, depth c. 0.25 m).
F42 (Fig. 35). A rock-hewn bodeda, consisting of a round cupmark (L421; diam. c. 0.4 m, depth c. 0.4 m) and a small shallow rectangular surface (L422; c. 0.1 × 0.2 m, depth c. 0.15 m deep) connected to each other.
F1 (Figs. 36, 37). A round, installation (L2; diam. c. 1.4 m, height c. 0.5 m) was hewn in a rock outcrop.
F41 (Fig. 38). A small round cupmark (L41; diam. c. 0.25 m, depth c. 0.2 m) was hewn in a rock outcrop near W123.
Stone Clearance Heaps
F10, F13, F23, F39. Four stone clearance heaps (average diam. 6 m, average height c. 0.85 m) were excavated, three of them on the western slope of the spur (F10, F13, F23), and one at its peak (F39; Fig. 39). A semicircular wall built of medium and large fieldstones bounded the four heaps on the east. Several pottery sherds dating to the Byzantine period were discovered among the stones of Heap 39.
Most of the finds in the excavated sites date to the Byzantine period. It seems that they were associated with the two adjacent settlements, Horbat Bet Natif and Khirbat Umm edh-Dhiyab, where settlement remains from the Byzantine period were exposed.