In May 2009, a salvage excavation was conducted at the site of Horbat Kelah in Modi‘in (Permit No. A-5661; map ref. 198346–90/647567–662), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Gav-Yam Property and Building Company, Ltd., was directed by M. Haiman (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration) and M. Kunin (surveying and drafting).
Rock-hewn Installation (L101; Fig. 2). This was probably a winepress, the quarrying of which was not completed (length 2.0 m, width 0.5 m). A hewn, L-shaped channel (width 8 cm, depth 8 cm) was exposed that was evidently the beginning of a rock-cut treading floor. The western part of the installation, probably a collecting vat whose hewing was incomplete, included a square rock-cutting (1.5 × 1.5 m, depth 0.4 m) in which a bedrock block remained. The entire length of the bedrock surface in which the installation was hewn was cracked and this might be the reason the quarrying of the winepress was not finished.
Farming Terrace Retaining Walls. Four walls were unearthed (W100, W102–W104).
Wall 100 (length c. 3 m, width c. 1.1 m; Fig. 3) was built of two rows of fieldstones (max. length 0.4 m) with a fill of small stones in between; it was preserved one course high.
Wall 102 (length 3.6 m, width 1.6 m; Fig. 4) was built of two rows of stones (max. length 0.4 m) preserved to a height of one course.
Wall 103 (length 11 m; Fig. 5) was built of two rows of stones (max. length 0.4 m) with a fill of smaller stones in between. It survived to a height of 1–2 courses; the western part of the wall was better preserved than its eastern part.
Wall 104 (length c. 2 m, width 0.3 m; Fig. 6) was built of a single row of fieldstones (max. length 0.5 m).
The installations seem to represent the remote outskirts of one of the nearby settlements, possibly Horbat Kelah, located c. 1 km to the south. Several worn pottery sherds, some of which date to the Hellenistic and Roman periods, were found amongst the installations.