During November 2004, a salvage excavation was conducted at Qiryat Ye‘arim––Telstone (Permit No. A-4290*; map ref. NIG 203885/637584; OIG 153885/137584). The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by Y. Mizrahi, with the assistance of V. Pirsky (surveying and drafting) and T. Sagiv (photography).
××A circular limekiln (Figs. 1, 2), preserved in its entirety, except for the ceiling that had collapsed inward, was exposed. The installation had a curved wall (W1; outer diam. 6 m, inner diam. 4 m) built of fieldstones and cement, which was preserved nine courses high (height 5 m). Two openings (upper 0.7 × 1.5 m, lower 0.5 × 0.5 m) in the western side, were built one atop the other (Fig. 1: Section 2-2). With the exception of the western part of the wall that was pale red, most of kiln’s interior wall was a lustrous white color that resulted from burning lime. The installation, founded on hewn bedrock (height 1.0–1.5 m), was discovered filled with fieldstones that had apparently collapsed from its ceiling. Two parallel walls (W2––0.30 × 0.55 × 0.80 m; W3––0.30 × 0.50 × 0.65 m), preserved two courses high, were exposed on either side of the lower opening of the combustion chamber. Numerous lumps of white lime, burnt stones and a layer of ash and black soot, which were exposed in the layer of fill above the floor, below the fieldstone collapse, evinced the limekiln use of the installation (Fig. 1: Section 3-3).
Neither potsherds nor other artifacts, which could assist in dating the construction of the kiln or determining how long it was in use, were found. Kilns of this kind are known from the Ottoman period and the British Mandate era and this installation should probably be dated to these periods.