In September 2008, an excavation was conducted along the road leading to Modi‘in cemetery (Trig. Point H-477; Permit No. A-5528; map ref. 199106–23/648142; Fig. 1), after mechanical equipment had damaged an ancient cistern. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by Modi‘in Development Company, was directed by A. Shadman, with the assistance of A. Hajian (surveying) and T. Sagiv (field photography).
An excavation square (2.5 × 10.0 m) was opened along the route of the pipeline whose installation had damaged a bell-shaped water cistern hewn into the bedrock (0.8 m diam., c. 2 m deep). The mouth of the cistern and a pile of large stones to the west of it were discovered on the surface. A cover stone placed over the cistern’s opening had been cracked by mechanical equipment when the pipeline was installed (Fig. 2). The upper part of the cistern was lined with medium-sized fieldstones, whereas its lower part was plastered. The cistern was not excavated due to safety concerns. A few stones discovered immediately to the north of the cistern had acted as a gutter to drain rainwater. The cistern was part of a well-developed agricultural system serving most of the ancient settlements that existed in the region. Based on the dates of settlements in the vicinity, the cistern may have been used during the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods.