During March 2003 a salvage excavation was conducted next to Mizpe Ramon (Permit No. A-3866*; map ref. NIG 18230/50470; OIG 13230/00470), prior to preparing the area for use as a disposal site for solid waste. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the Mizpe Ramon Local Council, was directed by Y. Lender, assisted by S. Gal (surveying and drafting).
The excavation was conducted along two of six terraces inside a secondary wadi channel that drains an area of c. 30 dunams (Fig. 1). The length of the terraces conformed to the width of the channel–– c. 30 m in the lower terrace and 6–7 m in the upper one.
Probe trenches were excavated and the bottom (L1; Fig. 2) and top (L2) terraces were cleaned. The probes revealed that the terraces were built of two rows of small stones that formed a single course high wall (width 0.35 m, height 0.10–0.15 m). The stones were set on the loess in the channel. The excavation did not yield any artifacts that could aid in dating the construction of the terraces. It seems that the size of the drainage basin dictated the nature of the terraces, which played a role in retaining the soil and run-off and preventing erosion, thereby enabling the cultivation of the ground.