During March 2007 a trial excavation was conducted in Moshav Bene Yehuda in the southern Golan Heights (Permit No. A-5043*; map ref. NIG 26479/74510; OIG 21479/24510), prior to the construction of a building. The excavation, carried out on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the Golan Regional Council, was directed by O. Zingboym, with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqoby (administration), A. Hajian (surveying) and M. Hartal (scientific guidance).
The site, which is located in the center of the moshav, was surveyed in the past (Judea, Samaria and the Golan
, the Archaeological Survey of 1968
, Site 180). A burial cave was excavated there (HA-ESI
109:13*–14*) and a trial excavation was recently conducted (A-4141).
Three areas (C1, C2, C3) were excavated, the first next to the remains of a wall that was discerned in a probe dug by a backhoe, the second around a cistern that was documented in the survey, and the third in an area where a number of building stones were found.
A square was excavated next to the wall of a modern building of which two walls have survived. One of the walls was constructed while the other was rock-cut. The floor consisted of cement; remains of the roof, made of wattle and daub, were found in the collapse. The remains of another modern building were found next to the building and above it. The buildings were apparently destroyed during the 1970s and earth was piled on top of them to a height of c. 2 m.
A plastered cistern (L105; diam. 1.6 m, depth 2.0 m; Figs. 1–3) with steps (width 0.4 m) was excavated in this area. Based on its shape, it is dated to the Byzantine period.
A quarry was exposed in this area (Fig. 4). Building stones were removed utilizing a detachment method known from regions where limestone is indigenous; however, this quarry is located in an area where the rock is a conglomerate consisting of basalt and scoria. The potsherds collected from the area range in date from the Byzantine period until the modern era. The quarry, which is similar to the one discovered near Afiq, is dated by its quarrying technique to the Byzantine period.
The quarry and cistern should probably be associated with a nearby Byzantine-period site that has yet to be discovered.