During December 2002 a salvage excavation was conducted in three buildings, in an area slated for the construction of the Mizpe Ramon landing strip (Permit No. A-3793*; central map ref. NIG 18128/50663; OIG 13128/00663). The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the Katnani Company Ltd., was directed by Y. Lender, assisted by S. Gal (surveying and drafting).
The site, on the slope of a spur that faces north, had been surveyed in the past by S. Rosen (within Survey Map 201). Several buildings were examined.
The northern, L-shaped building (L1; Fig. 1) was built of a single course of medium-sized fieldstones, set on top of natural bedrock. The eastern (W10; 2.6 m long) and northern (W11; 2.4 m long) walls of the structure were preserved. An elliptical heap of medium-sized fieldstones (diam. 1.35 m, height 0.5 m) was exposed at the western end of W11. The excavation below the heap yielded no finds.
Another building was some 6 m to the south and elliptical in shape (L2; 1.8 × 2.5 m). It consisted of a single course of small and medium-sized fieldstones that were placed on natural bedrock. Loess and several stones of unclear origin were found inside the building.
The buildings or their environs did not yield any artifacts that could date or determine the nature of the structures.
Some 60 m northwest of the buildings was a third building (L3; interior dimensions 3.8 × 4.2 m; Fig. 2), which was horseshoe shaped and opened toward the east (width of opening c. 3.6 m). The wall of the structure, preserved a maximum of five courses high, was built of a single row of flat fieldstones (0.4–0.5 × 0.7–0.8 m) placed one atop the other with small stones in-between. The wall was partly built on top of natural bedrock and partly on a thin layer of soil (c. 10 cm) that was deposited on bedrock at the time of construction, probably for the purpose of leveling the area. The building was devoid of finds; however, next to it was a body fragment of a Gaza-type jar.
It seems that the building served as a protective wall against the wind for a tent or a shed that was temporarily occupied by shepherds or farmers.