During February 1998, a trial excavation was conducted at ‘Isfiya (Permit No. A- 2811*; map ref. NIG 20730/73625; OIG 16730/23625), after ancient remains were damaged during the installation of a sewer line. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by E. Oren, with the assistance of A. Hajian (surveying), V. Shorr (drafting) and D.T. Ariel (numismatics).
Two squares were opened to the east of a previous excavation (HA-ESI 110:90*). Architectural remains that included part of a building were revealed (Fig. 1). The building consisted of three wall sections (W400, W402, W403; width 0.6–1.0 m). West of W402 was a thin curved wall (W404), probably part of an installation. A wall stump (W401), perpendicular and north of W400, seems to have been a later addition to the original structure. The walls were built of two rows of large fieldstones and a core of small stones. No floors were discerned. The finds included fragments of baggy-shaped jars dating to the third–fourth centuries CE, an African Red Slip bowl dating to the second half of the second century CE and cooking kraters, as well as nine coins that included a coin from the time of Constantius II (330–335 CE; IAA 75512), a coin from the time of Diocletian that was struck in the mint of Antioch (284–305 CE; IAA 75514) and a coin that is dated to the years 354–375 CE (IAA 75513) were discovered on surface. In the fill near the walls were coins from the time of Elagabalus that were struck in the mint of Sidon (218–222 CE; IAA 75509), a coin of Valerianus from the mint of ‘Akko (253–259 CE; IAA 75510) and a coin of Constantine I (313–318 CE; IAA 75508).
The building can be dated to the second–fourth centuries CE based on the ceramic and numismatic finds.