During July–August 2005, an excavation was conducted in the Yattir Forest (Permit No. A-4539*; map ref. NIG 2077/5848; OIG 1577/0848), prior to the construction of the separation fence. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Ministry of Defense, was directed by M. Haiman (photography), with the assistance of A. Freiberg (area supervision) and A. Hajian (surveying and drafting).
A wall (W1) that delineated an agricultural plot, a cave (2), two retaining walls of farming terraces (W3, W4) and a quarry (5) were excavated. The excavated area was located along the fringes of agricultural complexes, which extended across the surrounding slopes.
Fence (1). A probe was cut on both sides of the fence that delimited a cultivation plot, whose size is unclear (Figs. 1, 2). The fence was built of large stones (length 0.5–0.7 m) placed on bedrock (c. 0.2 m below surface).
Cave (2). The collapsed remains of a natural cave (presumed diam. 3.2 m, presumed height 1.5 m; Figs. 3, 4) were exposed. A few pieces of organic material were discovered on the cave’s bedrock floor.
Retaining Walls (3, 4). Wall 3 (exposed length 4.8 m) was built of a row of large stones (Figs. 5, 6). Wall 4 (exposed length 7 m; Fig. 7) was built of small and medium-sized stones (max. height 0.45 m). Terrace 4 (width c. 1.1 m) was composed of small stones and soil mixture, overlaying a bedrock surface.
Quarry (5). Remains of a quarry (3 × 4 m) that was damaged in the past when a dirt road was built; quarrying lines of a stone block were discerned.