During May 2001 a salvage excavation was conducted in Azor (Permit No. A-3422; map ref. NIG 1815–8/6592–6; OIG 1315–8/1592–6), in the wake of damage caused by mechanical equipment to ancient remains. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by A. Bouchenino, with the assistance of T. Kanias (area supervision), A. Hajian (surveying), Y. Nagar (physical anthropology), T. Sagiv (photography), M. Ben-Gal (pottery restoration), M. Shuiskaya-Arnov (drawing), E. Altmark (metallurgical laboratory), G. Bijovsky (numismatics) and Y. Gorin-Rosen (glass). E. Yannai provided valuable scientific assistance.
Four areas (A–D) were opened, revealing tombs, a paved surface and a refuse pit.
Area A. Nine tombs, dating to Late Bronze Age IIB and Iron Age I, were found. Four types of interment were discerned: (1) pit graves (Fig. 1); (2) burial within two jars placed rim to rim (Fig. 2) and known as a double-pithos burial; (3) tombs built of unfired mud bricks and (4) cist tombs lined with kurkar slabs (Fig. 3).
Areas B and C. Thirteen tombs, built of kurkar slabs and placed on top of a hamra fill, were exposed. Pottery dating to the Byzantine period was recovered from the hamra soil. The tombs were not opened and may well be modern Muslim tombs. A pavement of very small fieldstones, delimited by a row of large fieldstones on the east, was exposed in Area C.
Area D. A tomb built of unfired mud bricks, similar to those found in Area A and devoid of finds, was exposed. A refuse pit dating to the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods was c. 150 m from the tomb and contained numerous fragments of jars, bowls, cooking pots and lamps, as well as a few glass vessel fragments from the end of the Byzantine period and the beginning of the Umayyad period and a poorly preserved bronze coin that probably dates to the fourth century CE.