During May 2005 a salvage excavation was conducted at the site of Nahal Saflul North (Permit No. A-4428; map ref. NIG 20813/71886; OIG 15813/21886). The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and at the initiative of the Hot Company, was directed by N. Getzov (surveying and drafting), assisted by A. Ben Tzioni (area supervision), Y. Lavan (administration) and A. Shapiro (GPS).
The site of Nahal Saflul North is located in the Menashe Hills, on a spur sloping from the west to a hill, on whose top is Khirbat el-‘Arayis. The site was discovered by M. Meir within the framework of a detailed archaeological survey in the vicinity of Qibbuz Gal‘ed (Chalcolithic Sites in the Vicinity of Qibbuz Gal‘ed, A Preliminary Review, Mitekufat Haeven 14:69–82). According to Meir, the site extends across 30 dunams and consists of remains from the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods. The site was also documented in the Map of Regavim survey, directed by Y. Tepper and Y. Gadot (pers. comm.).
Two areas (2.5 × 5.0 m each), both excavated to bedrock, were opened. An accumulation of remains (thickness 0.2–1.3 m) that included numerous stones, fragments of pottery vessels, flint tools, animal bones, stone vessels and bone implements, was uncovered. A complex of manmade round pits was exposed at the bottom of the accumulation. These pits were used as floor installations in the houses of the ancient settlement.
Most of the potsherds came from the later phase of the Early Chalcolithic period; they postdated the Wadi Rabah culture and preceded the Ghassulian culture. A few fragments from the Pottery Neolithic period are probably contemporary with the Jericho IX and Lodite cultures.