During August 2012, a salvage excavation was conducted along the Shuʽfat ridge (Permit No. A-6576; map ref. 221589–778/634902–5086; Fig. 1), prior to paving Highway 21. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Moriah Company, was directed by I. Zilberbod, with the assistance of R. Abu Halaf (administration), A. Hajian (surveying), T. Kornfeld (drafting) and A. Peretz (field photography).
Eight excavation areas (F1–F8; Fig. 2) were opened and a small quarry (F1), a rock-hewn winepress (F7), farming terraces and stone clearance heaps (F2–4) were exposed. No ancient remains were discovered in F5, F6 and F8, located in the western part of the site.
Quarry (Figs. 3–5). A small quarry (c. 3.5×7.0 m) was exposed in Area F1, close to the top of the western slope of a hill. Quarrying channels and rows of rectangular (L12, L18; c. 0.5×2.0 m) and squares depressions (L14; c. 1.5×1.5 m) that remained after the removal of stones were exposed. A field wall was discerned nearby.
Winepress (Figs. 6, 7). A small winepress hewn in a hard limestone surface was exposed in Area F7, c. 50 m south of the quarry. The installation consisted of a treading floor, settling pit and a collecting vat. The square treading floor (L71; 2.5×3.0 m) sloped from north to south and was bounded by vertical bedrock sides. The height of the treading floor’s sides varied due to damage caused to the rock; it was high in the north (max. height 1 m) and low in the south (height 5 cm). A small niche (0.4×0.5×0.6 m; Fig. 8) was hewn in the middle of the treading floor’s northern side, c. 0.4 m above the floor. A shallow channel (length c. 0.25 m, width c. 0.15 m, depth c. 0.1 m) that led to the settling pit (L73; 0.5×0.7 m, depth 0.5 m; Fig. 9) was hewn close to the southwestern corner of the treading floor. The settling pit was rectangular and an elliptical sump (L76; 0.30×0.45 m, depth 0.15 m) was hewn in its bottom. A small rock-cut channel (L78; length c. 0.1 m, width c. 0.15 m, depth 0.15 m) led from the settling pit to the collecting vat (L74: diam. c. 1.5 m, depth c. 1.5 m), which was bell-shaped and had a square sump (L75; 0.25×0.25 m, depth 0.2 m) hewn in its bottom. Sections of gray plaster were preserved on the sides and bottom of the vat.
A natural depression, probably used to stand jars in, was exposed on the bedrock surface west of the treading floor. Depressions and channels, probably natural, were discerned on the bedrock surface west and south of the winepress.
Farming Terraces, Field Walls and Stone Clearance Heaps. Numerous stone clearance heaps, many field walls and farming terraces spread across a large area were discerned. Large stone clearance heaps were piled on top of field walls in Areas F2 and F4 (Figs. 10–13). A small heap of stone clearance was exposed in Area F3 next to the southern side of a field wall (W3; Figs 14, 15). A curved retaining wall (W4; length c. 2.5 m, width 0.3 m, height 0.5 m) built of medium-sized fieldstones and set on the bedrock was exposed in the eastern part of the stone heap.