During July 2003 a trial excavation was conducted in south ‘Atlit (Permit No. A-3935*; map ref. NIG 19435/73275; OIG 14435/23275), prior to construction work. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the Rahav family, was directed by D. Inbar, with the assistance of S. Ya‘aqov-Jam and Y. Dangor (administration), A. Hajian (surveying and drafting), T. Sagiv (photography), D.T. Ariel (numismatics) and E. Yannai (professional guidance).
The site is located on the western fringes of the middle kurkar ridge, southeast of the Crusader fortress (HA-ESI 112:119*). An excavation square was opened, revealing a square vat (2.3 × 2.5 m, depth 1.5 m) that was hewn in hard kurkar bedrock. The vat was probably used for the local needs of industry or agriculture. A drainage channel (L101) and a stone dam (L103) were apparently intended to prevent water from entering the vat. Soft fill of weathered sandstone, probably part of the vat’s floor, was found at the bottom of the vat. The rest of the vat and its surroundings were covered with modern fill, mixed with hamra soil (L100). A coin of Antiochus III, minted in Antioch (222–187 BCE; IAA 97628), was found on surface near the vat.
The excavation area was devoid of any ceramic artifacts or other finds, precluding the ability to date the vat.