During September 2011, an excavation was conducted in Qiryat Ata (Tell el ‘Idham; Permit No. A-6269; map ref. 207599–708/745749–889), prior to the construction of a commercial center. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Shikun & Binui Company, was directed by F. Volynsky, with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), R. Mishayev (surveying and drafting), H. Ben-Ari (GPS), A. Peretz (field photography), E. Yannai (ceramics), Y. Nagar (physical anthropology), L. Talmi and K. Sa‘id.
Remains of walls dating to the Early Bronze Age and the Persian period and fragments of pottery vessels from the Iron Age, and the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman periods were discovered in an excavation conducted at the site in 1987 (‘Atiqot 47:101–108). A survey was performed at the site in 2007 (License No. G-9/2007).
Six excavation squares (A–F) were opened in the northern part of the Qiryat Ata industrial zone, south of Brandeis Forest (Figs. 1, 2). Habitation levels attributed to Middle Bronze Age IIA (Stratum IV), Late Bronze Age (Stratum III) and the Persian period (Strata I, II) were exposed. In addition, a Middle Bronze IIA tomb was discovered.
Stratum IV. Remains of this layer were revealed in Squares A and B. A habitation level (L112) composed of tamped earth with several potsherds from Middle Bronze Age IIA was exposed in Square A. A pit grave was exposed in Square B. It contained the bones of an adult individual and pottery vessels dating to Middle Bronze Age IIA, including an intact bowl (Figs. 3:1, 4), a carinated bowl fragment (Fig. 3:2), an intact amphoriskos (Figs 3:3, 5) and an intact dipper juglet (Figs. 3:4, 6).
Stratum III. A habitation level (L113) of tamped soil with fragments of a krater (Fig. 3:5) and a jar (Fig. 3:6), dating to the Late Bronze Age, was exposed in Square D.
Stratum II. A habitation level (L115, L116) of small fieldstones, with a black-slipped bowl dating to the Persian period (Fig. 3:7), was exposed in Squares A and B.
Stratum I. A uniform habitation level of small fieldstones was exposed in all six squares (Loci 100–105). A black-slipped bowl (Fig. 3:8), a Persian mortarium (Fig. 3:9) and a Phoenician jar (Fig. 3:10) dating to the Persian period were discovered on this level.
Based on the excavations carried out so far, it seems that a settlement existed at the site from the Early Bronze Age to the Roman period.