Moshav Ha-Bonim was built on the remains of an ancient settlement, known as Kafr Lam during the Ottoman period, which is documented in historical sources. The name could be a disruption of the Crusader name Kafer Lia. The excavation (120 sq m) was conducted along the western slope of a kurkar ridge, which is c. 1 km east of the coastline. A quarry, a water reservoir from the Ottoman period and Muslim tombs were exposed (Fig. 1). Some 150 m west of the current excavation, a previously large excavation was conducted in the Ha-Bonim fortress (HA-ESI 114:30*–33*), revealing artifacts that dated to the Chalcolithic, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods, as well as the remains of a fortress that was used from the Umayyad until the Ottoman periods.
Stone Quarry(L812; 6×8 m). Quarrying and severance channels were discovered on several rock-hewn steps. The step-quarrying method was meant to facilitate the rock-cutting and the detachment of stones, providing easy access to all sides of the removed stone. The size of the steps was determined by the size of the quarried stones. Modern debris was mostly found in the fill of the quarry, which belonged to a series of ancient quarries that were located on the kurkar ridge in the vicinity of Moshav Ha-Bonim and mainly operated during the Byzantine period. Several of the quarries were later adapted for use as agricultural installations and burial caves.
Water Reservoir. An L-shaped water reservoir (height 3 m) was exposed to the west of the quarry. It was built of ashlar stones and comprised two vaulted rectangular halls (A––3.6×6.0 m; B––3.0×3.4 m; Fig. 2). White plaster, which was applied to the interior side of the walls, contained potsherds that dated from the Roman until the Ottoman periods. These potsherds testify to the fact that the reservoir was built during the Ottoman period. An opening in the ceiling of each of the halls enabled the drawing of water from the halls. Soundings excavated in Hall A exposed bedrock that served as the reservoir’s floor (Loci 815, 816), at a depth of 0.2 m below surface. The reservoir was converted for use as a dwelling in a later phase, probably toward the end of the Ottoman period. The conversion necessitated alterations that included an opening and a large window in the western wall (Loci 822, 823; Fig. 3), as well as a partition wall between the two halls (W821). A similar reservoir was discovered in the excavation of the fortress nearby (HA-ESI 114:Fig. 46, Vault 22).
Tombs. South and west of the water reservoir, sixteen Muslim cist tombs were exposed (Loci 801–810, 813, 814, 817–820; Fig. 4); they were documented but not excavated. The tombs, generally oriented east–west, were built of mostly small fieldstones and a few ashlar stones. It seems that the tombs dated from the end of the Ottoman period until 1948, when the Arab village at the site was abandoned.