Eight excavation squares (A–H; Fig. 2) were opened, revealing three phases (I–III).
Phase III. The early phase observed in Sqs A–C and F–H included a massive wall (W4; exposed length 25.5 m, width 1.5 m, exposed height in the west 2.8 m; Figs. 3–5), built of partially dressed local kurkar blocks. The southwestern end of Wall 4 bonded with another wall (W17; Fig. 6) constructed in a similar manner, forming a corner, apparently of a large building. A rectangular basalt stone (length 9.5 cm, width 6 cm, thickness 3 cm, weight 0.3 kg; Fig. 7), possibly used as a grinding stone or as a weight, was found south of Sq C. In the foundation of Wall 4 (L7, L9; Fig. 3) were sherds dating to the Umayyad period (seventh–eighth centuries CE), among them fragments of two kraters (Fig. 8:1, 2) and a cooking pot (Fig. 8:3). In the surface layer above the foundation, sherds dating to the Abbasid period (eighth–ninth centuries CE), including fragments of two jars (Fig. 8:5, 6), were found.
Phase II. A plaster floor (L18; Figs. 6, 9) founded on a base of small stones (L19; Fig. 6) was exposed in Sq D. It abutted a wall (W14) built of dressed stones. On the northwestern corner of the floor was a plastered installation (L20; diameter c. 0.4 m) containing the base of a jug (Fig. 8:7) dating to the Abbasid period.
Phase I. Two walls (W15, W30; Fig. 6) were constructed in the latest phase. Wall 30 was built of one row of stones, close to W17. The construction of W15 damaged the plastered installation in L20 and the wall’s foundation trench damaged Wa14.
In Sq C, a flimsy wall (W5; Fig. 3) built of kurkar stones preserved to a height of one course was exposed. Wall 5, similar in construction to Wall 4, abutted it from the west. The accumulated soil on both sides of W5 (L12, L13; Fig. 3) yielded sherds from the Abbasid period, among them a green-glazed bowl (Fig. 8:4), a jug (Fig. 8:8), a jar (Fig. 8:9) and terracotta pipes (Fig. 8:10–12). Based on the ceramic finds and the nature of its construction, Wall 5 apparently postdates Wall 4 and Stratum III; however, it was not possible to determine if the wall was built in Phase II or Phase I.
Fifteen baskets of glass finds were collected; five baskets (or one-third) contained remains of industrial waste, providing sufficient evidence of a local glass industry. Twenty-seven out of 32 fragments could be identified, six of them related to the glass industry. Most of the glass vessels are dated to the end of the Late Roman and the beginning of the Byzantine (fourth–fifth centuries CE) periods. Among them are bowls with a hollow folded rim, bowls with a rounded rim, hollow-ring bases of bowls, a funnel-like bottle rim and a sturdy base of cup of a type very typical of this period. One of the baskets (B43, near W4, not on plan) yielded a hollow-ring base of a wine goblet dating to the Byzantine period.
The industrial waste included a small lump of raw glass (B46, L2, not on plan; Fig. 10), a lump of kiln waste bearing glass remains (B27, L21, not on plan; Fig. 11) and two fragments of glass waste formed on a pontil rod, which left a circular outline in the center of the object (Figs. 12, 13). These fragments are not indicative of any known object or specific use. However, the technical details and the nature of the glass leads to the conclusion that the glass was lifted on a blowpipe or pontil rod while still hot with the intention of producing an object, but the process went wrong and the glass that had gathered on the rod was removed after it had quickly cooled. This is indicated by the nature of the glass and the large holes in it, and the lack of uniformity in the material and marks on the outer side, which show that hot glass was added several times on top of the glass already on the pontil rod (see Fig. 12, right). It is probable that the hot glass was not gathered on the blowpipe quickly enough, or, the glass was insufficiently hot or of poor quality and the artisans chose to let it cool, to break it and not recycle it in the kiln. In any case, these glass chunks are related to glasswork and hence, we can reasonably assume that there was a workshop at the site for producing glass vessels and objects, and not for producing the raw material. The industrial glass waste was found with glass vessels from an earlier time; thus, this waste seems to represent earlier activity at the site, prior to the construction of W4 (see above). Industrial glass waste was also found in previous excavations at the site (Mahajna 2009
); however, most of those finds dated to the end of the Byzantine and the beginning of the Early Islamic periods. At the time, the excavator ascribed one of the kilns at the site to a glass industry, but a re-evaluation of the glass finds from that excavation indicates the glass waste exposed was not found near the kiln, but in another region of the excavation, near the oil press.
Three phases were identified. The early, Umayyad-period phase, is represented by two massive walls that apparently enclosed a building. Related to the second phase was a room with a plastered floor, a plastered installation and a wall, dating to the Abbasid period. The latest phase was represented by two walls dating to the Abbasid period. In addition to potsherds from the Byzantine period, lumps of raw glass were found, evidence of a glass industry that apparently existed in the region during the Late Roman and Early Byzantine periods. Despite evidence of human activity during the Byzantine period, no architectural remains dating to this time were discovered.