Duiring February 2006, a salvage excavation was conducted south of Tel Ya‘af (Permit No. A-4721; map ref. 25220/76393), following damage to the fringes of the tell because a road was set without coordination with the Israel Antiquities Authority. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by M. Hartal (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqoby (administration), A. Hajian (surveying), H. Tahan-Rosen (pottery drawing), T. Kornfeld (drafting) and laborers from Hazor Ha-Gelilit.
Two areas (A, B; Fig. 1) were excavated. Area A, in the eastern part of the site, was located at a spot where the site was damaged and Area B was opened where a concentration of Iron Age pottery vessels was identified during archeological soundings prior to the excavation. The Tel Ya‘af (Southeast) antiquities site is on a low hill south of Tel Ya‘af. It was discovered in a survey by Y. Stepansky (Map of Rosh Pina , Site 216) and walls of buildings and potsherds from the Chalcolithic period and Iron Age II (eighth century BCE) were identified. In the wake of the survey results, the area of the site was removed from the Zahar Industrial Zone development plan.
Area A (5×7 m). A wall (W103; Figs. 2, 3) exposed on the surface was a small section of a single-period building; it was built of large basalt fieldstones and preserved two–three courses high. An earthen floor (L102; Fig. 2) abutted the wall from the east and was overlain with numerous fragments of pottery vessels dating to Iron Age II (eighth century BCE), including bowls (Fig. 4:1–4), cooking pots (Fig. 4:5–8), jars (Fig. 4:9–12), a flask decanter (Fig. 4:13), and jugs (Fig. 4:14–16). Several animal bones were found in one of the jugs. Other artifacts on the floor included a ceramic spindle weight (Fig. 4:17) and a bronze arrowhead (Fig. 4:18). Soil (L105) below the floor level and down to the bedrock contained potsherds (Fig. 4:19–23), similar to those on the floor but in a smaller quantity. No floor was discerned west of the wall but the soil accumulating on the bedrock, especially next to the wall (L104) contained many potsherds ((Fig. 5:1–10), similar to those recovered east of the wall. It seems that this section was located outside the building.
Area B (L200, 4×5 m; Fig. 6). An accumulation of heavy soil containing numerous potsherds (L201) was discovered on the bedrock, which was exposed c. 0.5 m below the surface. Unlike the finds in Area A, these potsherds were not of vessels broken in situ. No walls or floors were found and it seems that the potsherds had been swept here from the adjacent site.
A single-period settlement dating to the eighth century BCE was exposed in the excavation. The settlement was situated at the foot of Tel Ya‘af and was probably associated with it. The excavated area was insufficient to understand the structures, but the large number of vessels broken in situ evinces the hasty abandonment of the site, possibly during the campaign of Tiglath Pileser III.