In November–December 2014, a salvage excavation was conducted in the vicinity of Nahal Yattir, c. 3 km east of Tel Sheva‘ (Permit No. A-7229; map ref. 190714–759/573479–526), prior to construction of Segment 3 of the Highway 6. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Cross-Israel Highway Company, was directed by D. Yegorov (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Al-‘Amor (administration), S. Gal (GPS) and M. Kahan (surveying and drafting).
Area A was divided into three sub-areas: on a hilltop (A1; Fig. 2) and on its southeastern (A2) and southwestern slopes (A3). Sub-area A1 yielded a layer of loess topsoil above a nari rock formation; it contained a sparse amount of knapped flint artifacts (Fig. 3). The bedrock was not exposed in the two other sub-areas, where a firmly compacted layer of loess (thickness c. 0.2 m) containing ancient flint items was excavated. The flint artifacts (Fig. 4) from the three sub-areas dates from the Middle Paleolithic period.
Area B was divided into two sub-areas—one in the southwest (B1; Fig. 5), the other in the northeast (B2). A few flint items from the Middle Paleolithic period were unearthed (c. 5 cm below the surface) in both sub-areas. The area was excavated to a depth of c. 1 m, and no distinct archaeological level was identified.
A flint knapping site dating to the Middle Paleolithic period (Mousterian culture) was revealed. Area A, on the southern slope of the hill, along the wadi, was apparently the main area where the knapping took place. The ancient flint knappers utilized local raw material that was easily gathered at the site; this is evidently the reason why the site was selected for producing flint tools. The excavation is of great importance for the study of the Mousterian culture in the area.