Area A1
Occupation layers and fills dating to the Middle Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Hellenistic period were exposed, as well as the remains of a grave of undetermined date.
MB II. A layer of soil containing MB II potsherds overlay the natural sterile soil layer.
Iron II. A thick earth fill (c. 1.5 m) containing potsherds predominantly from the end of Iron II (seventh century BCE) overlay the MB II layer.
Hellenistic period. In some of the squares, a surface of tamped earth, probably a floor, overlain by many Hellenistic (third–second centuries BCE) potsherds, as well as a few glass fragments, stone and metal artifacts and animal bones, was exposed above the Iron II fill layer. No architectural remains or installations could be attributed to this level.
Grave. The remains of at least one pit grave and a few associated human bones were identified in the northern part of the excavation area. The burial was not excavated and there were no additional finds. The top of the grave lay c. 0.9 m above the Hellenistic habitation level, and therefore probably postdates it.
Area A2
The alluvium covered two habitation levels from MB II, and the remains of an Iron II burial.
MB IIA. Two consecutive habitation levels were identified overlying an alluvium layer that contained a few mixed sherds from the Chalcolithic, Early and Intermediate Bronze and MB II periods. The lower, earlier habitation level was a well-preserved floor of tamped earth and occasional small fieldstones, with two pairs of tabuns and two pits dug into the floor (Fig. 3). At least one of the tabuns exhibited several construction and destruction phases, to which numerous MB IIA potsherds were attributed. The upper level, mostly washed away, was a tamped grayish surface, possibly made of mud-brick material, on which MB IIA pottery was found.
Iron II tomb. On the eastern fringes of the excavation area, a cist tomb made of mud-bricks was unearthed, built into the upper MB II habitation level (Fig. 4). The tomb (c. 0.7 × 2.0 m), built on a northeast–southwest alignment, contained an articulated skeleton that was identified as an adult male about 50 years old. No grave goods were recovered, but a few seventh-century BCE potsherds retrieved in the fill that sealed the tomb date it to Iron IIC.
Area A3
MB II.Middle Bronze II habitation levels, comprising several superimposed tamped-earth floors, overlay an ancient alluvium layer that contained a few Chalcolithic or Early Bronze Age and a few MB II pottery sherds. Various installations associated with these floors were identified, including hearths and a large tabun, as well as MB IIA pottery sherds. At some stage, the tabun fell into disuse and it became a sort of cache installation, as shown by the many complete or almost complete MB IIB–C jars and cooking pots that were placed inside it (Fig. 5), as well as by the fact that it was covered over with large stones carefully arranged in an approximate circle (Fig. 6). The vessels retrieved from the tabun may be associated with food storage and preparation, or they may have served some ritual purpose.
The location of the excavation at the foot of Tel Poran, along with the nature of the remains exposed, indicate that the excavated area lay on the fringes of the settlement, which was mainly on the tell. The MB II habitation levels and cooking installations probably reflect repeated use of this area as a temporary camp, beyond the boundaries of the fortified tell. Ceremonial rituals of an unknown nature may also have been conducted there. Following a long period of decline or gap in activity, the area was used again at the end of the Iron Age, among other things for burial, and after another gap, activity was resumed in the Hellenistic period.