In June 2007 a trial excavation was conducted at the edge of Tel Nov, near the Nov reservoir (Permit No. A-5142*; map ref. NIG 274141–89/748127–69; OIG 224141–89/248127–69). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Antiquities Authority with funding provided by the settlement, was directed by Z. Daniel, with the participation of O. Zingboym (area supervision and consultation), Y. Ya‘akoby (administration), T. Meltzen (surveying) and A. Shapiro (GPS).
Nov is referred to as ‘En Nov in El Amarna Letter 256 from the fourteenth century BCE and is mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud (Shebiit 4:10) among the list of forbidden towns in the vicinity of Sussita. In the past an excavation was conducted c. 50 m west of the current excavation (‘Atiqot 39:13*–26*).
One square was opened in which the remains of a wall (W114; length, 4.6 m; Fig. 1) built of basalt fieldstones were discovered preserved to a height of one course (0.2–0.4 m). A wall (W109; length c. 11.5 m; width c. 1.3 m, Fig. 2) that defined the southern end of a pool was exposed to the south of the square. Two–three foundation courses of basalt fieldstones were set on bedrock which had been leveled; basalt fieldstones and roughly hewn chalk stones in secondary use, were laid atop the foundation courses. The southern face of the wall was treated with plaster mixed with gravel and small stones (L115). At the eastern end of the wall a section of a built channel was exposed which diverted water from the stream to the pool (L117). It seems that the eastern part of the wall was also used to divert the flow of the stream to the pool. A wall (W110) that was only partly cleaned was located in the eastern part of the pool, perpendicular to Wall 109.
Finds from the excavation include pieces of flint, fragments of pipes (Fig. 3:1, 2), lead shot from a hunting rifle from the Ottoman period (Fig. 3:3) and animal bones.
The date of the pool was not ascertained. It seems that this installation was located outside the boundary of the settlement.