Habitation Level (F1; Fig. 1). A habitation level (L103) was exposed in the northern part of the area. On it were a meager amount of pottery sherds from the Late Chalcolithic period, bones and manufacturing waste from a metal industry. Part of the level was excavated (L104; depth c. 0.3 m), exposing hamra containing clay sediment. Below the hamra was yellow sand devoid of finds.
 
Installation (F3). A well-preserved circular installation (W101; outer diam. 2.1 m, inner diam. 1.2 m, more than 3 m deep; Figs. 2–4) built of medium-sized fieldstones was exposed. The outer face of the installation was built of unworked stones that were unevenly arranged, while the inner face was constructed of roughly hewn stones that were fixed in place in a more orderly manner. A trial trench (L106; depth c. 1.5 m) was excavated in the southern part of the installation, exposing a gray soil fill that contained hundreds pottery sherds, flint items (see Vardi, below) and animal bones (see Zuckerman-Copper, below). Upon completion of the excavation, a mechanically dug trial trench (depth 3.5 m) was opened in the installation, exposing its inner face; its floor was not reached could not identified. It seems that the installation was originally a well. after it was no longer used for that purpose, it became a refuse pit into which broken a variety of wastes—pottery vessels, animal bones and flint items—were discarded by the local residents. The pottery assemblage is homogenous and should be ascribed to the Late Chalcolithic period (see below), indicating that the installation ceased to be used at that time.
 
Shafts. Only one shaft (F2; L100; diam. C. 1 m; Fig. 5) was excavated. A gray soil fill that included several pottery sherds from the Late Chalcolithic period, animal bones and flint tools was found inside the shaft.Beneath the fill (c. 1.3 m below the surface), the excavation reached hamra devoid of any artifacts. Three additional shafts (F4–F6; diam. c. 1 m) were documented; there top level was c. 3 m lower than that of Shaft F2.
 
Ceramic Finds. One hundred and four diagnostic pottery sherds dating from the Late Chalcolithic period were found. Most were recovered from inside the installation (L102, L106), while several others were from the shaft (L100) and the habitation level (L103). A variety of V-shaped bowl rims were found, including plain rims decorated on the inside with a thin red stripe (Fig. 6:1), with red stripes (Fig. 6:2) or with one broad stripe (Fig. 6:3). Among the other finds were bowl bases (Fig. 6:4), krater rims (Fig. 6:5), plain holemouths (Fig. 6:6), some decorated with red color and thumb indentations on the rim (Fig. 6:7), incense burner bases decorated with a red stripe (Fig. 6:8), cornet fragments (Fig. 6:9), two churn handles (Fig. 6:10, 11) and lug handles (Fig. 6:12). Handle No. 10, found in the installation, was preserved intact. Handle No. 11 belonged to a large churn; it was discovered on the habitation level together with several body fragments that probably belonged to a single vessel. The finds that included fragments of churns, cornets and incense burners evidently belonged to the Ghassulian culture of the Late Chalcolithic period. Similar contemporary assemblages were unearthed in previous excavations at Yehud: in the Lugano Project (Jakoel and van den Brink 2014), on Biakovsky Street (van den Brink 2014) and in the Aura Project (Ben-Ari and Ilan 2015).
 
 Flint Finds
Yaʽaqov Vardi
 
Eleven flint items were found. They are made of a variety of raw materials. Two pyramidal-shaped cores are made of gray flint with white patches; one was used to produce flakes, and the other to produce both flakes and bladelets. Two chunks made of shiny gray flint are probably core fragments; one of them is burnt. Three tools are made of gray Eocene flint: a bladelet with a retouched diagonal truncation (Fig. 7:1), a scraper on a flake (Fig. 7:2) and a drill that was knapped on a large blade (Fig. 7:3). Three flakes of gray Eocene flint and one flake of brown coarse-grain flint were also found. The flint assemblage is small, but judging by the production technique and its similarity to tools discovered in previous excavations at Yehud (Jakoel and van den Brink 2014), we can conclude that it comes from a Ghassulian Chalcolithic settlement that existed in the area.  
  
Archaeolozoology
Roni Zuckerman-Cooper
 
Twenty-five fragments of animal bones were found (Table 1). Of these four were identified as belonging to cattle (Bos Taurus) and one to sheep/goat (Caprinea sp.). The other fragments were indicative of the animal’s body size: ten bones are of medium-sized animals (goats or sheep) and ten are of large animals (cattle or horses). Most of the bones were found in the installation (L102, L106; N=18, 72%). All of the bones whose animal species was identified come from the installation. The breakdown of skeletal parts in the assemblage (Table 2) indicates that many of the remains are fragments of ribs and long bones and that there is a relatively high representation of skull bones. Apart from one unfused bone—a fragment of a vertebra of a large animal—none of the examined bone fragments had age-indicative characteristics. The absence of cutting, chewing and burnt marks is not surprising given the small size of the assemblage.
 
Table 1. The breakdown in numbers and percentage of animal bones according to loci
 
Loci 102 and 106
Locus 103
Locus 100
Total
Cattle
4 (16%)
-
-
4 (16%)
Sheep/goat
1 (4%)
-
-
1 (4%)
Medium-sized animals
7 (28%)
-
3 (12%)
10 (40%)
Large-sized animals
6 (24%)
1 (4%)
3 (12%)
10 (40%)
Total
18 (72%)
1 (4%)
6 (24%)
25 (100%)
 
Table 2. Breakdown of skeletal parts in the faunal assemblage
 
Cattle
Sheep/goat
Medium-sized animals
Large-sized animals
Total
Head
3
-
1
1
 
Vertebrae and ribs
-
1
5
5
 
Shoulder
-
-
-
1
 
Pelvis
1
-
-
-
 
Long bones
-
-
4
3
 
Total
4
1
10
10
25
 
 
The excavation uncovered several locations with remains from the Late Chalcolithic period. Habitation levels and shafts are indeed known from previous excavations at Tel Yehud; however, the built installation that was revealed in this excavation is unique. Based on the ceramic finds, we can suggest that the installation was built and went out of use during the Late Chalcolithic period. To date, only one similar installation, also identified as a well, has been excavated in the Ono Valley, and it too was found at Tel Yehud, and it too was dated to the Chalcolithic period (Govrin 2015:14–15). An installation identified in the past as a Chalcolithic-period well was documented, but not excavated, c. 3.5 km to the southwest during drainage work in Nahal Ayyalon (van den Brink, Golan and Shemueli 2001:33). However, a recent trial excavation conducted there (Permit No. A-7758) indicated that it is not a well. In an excavation in Tel Aviv (van den Brink 2011), a similar installation (height 1.7 m) with a sequence of three floors was exposed. At first it was identified as a granary and dated to the Chalcolithic period. However, upon further consideration, van den Brink believes the installation was originally used as a well (pers. comm.). Over the years, several Chalcolithic sites were discovered in Yehud and in nearby Or Yehuda (van den Brink, Golan and Shemueli 2001). Van den Brink (2014) suggested that their location is probably related to the meandering streambed of Nahal Yehud, which runs to the south of the site.