Area A yielded a complex winepress (c. 9 × 10 m; Figs. 3, 4). It was bordered on the west and south by walls (W10, W11; width c. 0.8 m) built of two rows of dressed chalk blocks with a core of small stones and mud, and on the north and east by partially ruined walls (W18, W19). The winepress contains a treading floor (L117) that had a screw in the center, a collecting vat (L116), a settling vat (L113) with central sumps, and two fermentation cells (L112, L115).
The ceramic finds from the winepress is mostly local ware and dates from the Byzantine period. Most of the pottery was found in the collecting and settling vats and was probably discarded as refuse over the when the winepress became obsolete. However, some of the potsherds may have washed in over the years as the winepress stood abandoned. The pottery finds include LRC bowls (Fig. 5:1, 2), local bowls (Fig. 5:3–6), a krater (Fig. 5:7), juglets (Fig. 5:8, 9), cooking vessels (Fig. 6:1, 2), bag-shaped jars (Fig. 6:3–5) a Gaza jar (Fig. 6:6), a strainer jug (Fig. 6:7), jugs (Fig. 6:8–10) and sandal lamps (Fig. 6:11, 12).
Part of a large rectangular structure built of kurkar and limestone blocks was unearthed immediately to the south of the winepress. The building, which was initially exposed using mechanical equipment, was estimated to have covered 450 sq m; only about a third of it was excavated manually. The wall foundations (W12–W16) of three rooms (L118, L119, L125) were preserved. The east side of the building was better preserved, yielding collapsed dressed stones. Once the building is fully excavated, its function may become clearer. It yielded LRC bowls (Fig. 7:1, 2); Bowl 7:1 is ornamented with a cross on the base. A simple bowl (Fig. 7:3), a krater (Fig. 7:4), a jug (Fig. 5:7) and juglets (Fig. 7:6–8) were also recovered.
Based on the ceramic finds, the building and the winepress in this area probably date from the same period; however, the excavation of the building south of the winepress must be completed in order to verify this. The winepress can be dated to the Byzantine period (fourth–early seventh century CE). By the Early Islamic period (seventh–eighth centuries CE) it was apparently abandoned, and the floor tiles were removed.
Area B. Nine pottery-workshop refuse pits, containing mainly Gaza-jar production debris, were exposed; two of the pits were excavated (Figs. 8, 9).
Several layers of debris interspersed with layers of crushed kurkar were unearthed in the eastern pit (L206). Scant remains of stone construction probably served to line the pit, which may have been used as an installation. Most of the pottery vessels from the pit were Gaza jars. A layer of ash (depth c. 0.5 m) exposed in the northwestern pit (L205) contained a large quantity of potsherds of various types, but here too the majority were Gaza jars. Between the pits (L203) were kiln debris as well as damaged and distorted pottery vessels, mostly Gaza jars, attesting to the operation of one or several kilns in the immediate vicinity. The pottery assemblage contains bowls (Fig. 10:1, 2), a deep bowl (Fig. 10:3), Gaza jars (Fig. 10:4–6), bag-shaped jars (Fig. 10:7, 8) and juglets (Fig. 10:9, 10).
The partially excavated estate along the route of the ancient Via Maris included a large building—possibly the home of a wealthy family, a storehouse or part of a monastery—as well as a complex winepress and an industrial pottery-production area, of which only the refuse pits were exposed. The construction of the estate began in the early Byzantine period and, and it continued to be occupied until the end of the Byzantine period. The structures were dismantled during the Early Islamic period, probably to reuse the building stones.