During May 2003 a salvage excavation was conducted along the northeastern slope of a hill, north of the Sarafat neighborhood in Beit Safafa (Permit No. A-3907*; map ref. NIG 21790/62830; OIG 16790/12830), in the wake of constructing a railroad station. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the Railroad Authority, was directed by V. Barzel, with the assistance of R. Abu-Halaf (administration), A. Hajian (surveying and drafting), L. Barda (GPS system), G. Solimany and Z. Greenhut.
Remains of a farming pen were visible on surface, including a long wall (W4, W5), oriented east–west and a series of terrace walls to the north and south (W1–W3), built perpendicular to it (Fig. 1). Wall 4 (length 14 m, width 0.8 m) was built of small and medium fieldstones. At its western end was Wall 3, built of large stones, whose eastern face (length 4 m, width 0.6 m) formed a corner with W4. The continuation of the of the enclosure wall (W5; length 9 m, width c. 2 m) was built in a later phase, utilizing small and medium-sized fieldstones. Set on the corner of W4, it formed a corner with the western face of W3 (length c. 3 m, width c. 0.5 m), which was also built of small and medium-sized fieldstones. To the south, were two farming terraces perpendicular to W5. Wall 1 (length 10 m, width 0.5 m) and Wall 2 (length 7.5 m, width 0.8 m) had a well-built eastern face and their western face was supported by soil fill (L104).
East of W1, a square (L103), excavated down to bedrock level, contained brown soil fill mixed with small and medium stones and a few potsherds that dated from the Iron Age to the Byzantine period.
To the east of W2 (L105) and in the corner of W3 and W4 (L101), two squares that contained brown soil mixed with small and medium-sized stones and a few non-diagnostic potsherds, were excavated down to bedrock.
The long enclosure wall (W4, W5) was built at the angle of the slope, whereas the terrace walls perpendicular to it, were farming terraces. It was impossible to date the complex.