Following the removal of a modern foundation layer (thickness c. 0.8 m) with the aid of mechanical equipment, dark gray fill that contained remains of mortar mixed with lime, shells and numerous potsherds, dating to the end of the Byzantine period (sixth–seventh centuries CE) was exposed.
Two vats (Loci 2, 3; outer dimensions 2.85 × 3.30 m; Fig. 1) separated by a partition wall (W5) were uncovered beneath the fill. The vats’ walls, of which only a single course of dressed kurkar was preserved, were coated with light pink hydraulic plaster, applied to a base layer of potsherds. The foundation, built of fieldstones that were set directly on top of the sand, was wider than the width of the walls.
Vat 2 (1.3 × 2.3 m) was completely excavated and Vat 3, which extended beyond the limits of the excavation area, was only partially explored (1.2 × 2.3 m). The floors of the two vats were slightly inclined to the south. The northern part of the floor in Vat 3 was damaged because of stone-robbing. It was repaired at least four times and the original plaster floor was c. 0.1 m lower than the latest floor. Although no evidence was found, it can reasonably be assumed that similar repairs were made to the floor of the eastern vat. A depression in the center of the floor in Vat 3 was noted near the southern wall (W7) and an opening between the courses of the wall that had been blocked with soil and mortar was revealed. A plaster floor (L4), which continued beyond the limits of the square, extended up and onto W7 from the south.
Brown fill (L6) deposited directly on the sand was excavated east and north of the vats. It was probably a foundation trench of the installation that contained potsherds dating to the end of the Byzantine period (sixth–seventh centuries CE).
It was not possible to determine the precise use of the installation due to its poor state of preservation and the limited scope of the excavation; however, these were most likely the collecting vats of a winepress. It seems that the installation was built during the sixth–seventh centuries CE and ceased to be used at the end of the Byzantine or the beginning of the Early Islamic periods.