During March 2004, a salvage excavation was conducted at the Nah
al Shoval site (Permit No. A-4129*; map ref. NIG 17995/59100; OIG 12995/09100; HA-ESI 117
), in the wake of damage caused to ancient remains. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and funded by the Department of Public Works, was directed by N.S. Paran, with the assistance of H. Lavi (administration), A. Hajian (surveying), E. Belashov (drafting) and I. Lidski-Reznikov (drawing of finds).
The site is located on a low hill, c. 1 km south of the Devira junction. The excavation was c. 100 m northwest of the former excavation at the site (ESI 10:154). A natural pit, whose eastern side had been damaged during work on Highway 40 that crosses the site, was excavated. The pit had an irregular shape (c. 3 × 3 m, depth 1.6 m; Fig. 1) and its ceiling was collapsed. Following the collapse, the pit was used for refuse. A conical heap of reddish brown soil that had mostly accumulated after the collapse of the ceiling was discovered at the bottom of the pit. The heap was overlain with sloping layers of black and gray soil. A wall (W1; exposed length 1.5 m, width 0.50–0.55 m) built of medium and large fieldstones on top of the soil layers and preserved three–six courses high (0.5–0.6 m) was exposed. Digging the foundation trench for the wall was probably the cause for the collapse of the pit’s ceiling.
The soil layers contained chalk measuring vessels together with ceramic finds that dated to the Early Roman period (Herodian period; first century BCE–first century CE) and included small spherical bowls (Fig. 2:1), bowls and small bowls with a curved-in rim (Fig. 2:2–6), shallow bowls (Fig. 2:7), cooking pots with an external gutter below the rim (Fig. 2:8–11), bag-shaped store jars (Fig. 2:12–16), jugs (Fig. 2:14), juglets with a cup-like rim (Fig. 18, 19) and Herodian lamps (Fig. 2:20).