In May 2016, an excavation was conducted between the Ashdod Interchange and Holot Yavne (Permit No. A-7698; map ref. 172544–601/639984–640075; Fig. 1), prior to the construction of an interchange. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Department of Public Works, was directed by D. Golan, with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), Y. Marmelstein and P. Gendelman.
A topsoil layer of clay covered a layer of sand (thickness c. 1.5 m), which overlay hard, dark brown clay. Two squares (1, 2) aligned in a north–south direction were opened c. 10 m apart. In Square 1, in the north, a layer of pottery sherds (thickness 0.1–0.2 m) was discovered at a depth of 1.7 m, in the lower layer of clay layer. In Square 2, in the south, a layer of sherds (thickness 0.1–0.2 m) was exposed at a depth of 1.6 m, in pockets of sand between the layer of sand and the dark brown clay below it. The pottery from both squares dates to the first century BCE – fifth century CE. It seems that the area was situated on the eastern fringes or outskirts of a settlement whose remains were excavated in the past. The layer of pottery sherds may be the result of erosion or of purposeful use to improve the quality of the soil for agriculture.