Room 1, the southern room (L7010 in the previous season), resembles a right-angled trapezoid in plan (5.0 × 5.5 m) and has a floor consisting of several layers of fine yellowish clay.
Room 2 is irregular in plan. Its western part, excavated by Hirschfeld, yielded three Byzantine-period ovens. Its eastern part was unearthed in the previous season (L7011). The current excavation cleared the top part of the middle and southern ovens (the northern oven was unearthed by Hirschfeld) and uncovered the remains of a Mamluk-period oven that lay above them. Multiple ash layers from the ovens indicated that the site was an industrial and not a residential one, although no remains attesting to its function were uncovered.
Room 3 (L7013) was partially unearthed in the previous season. It became evident that this was a narrow, rectangular room (2.3 × 6.5 m) with an opening leading southward, into Room 2. It had a fine clay floor containing Byzantine-period potsherds, mainly pithoi fragments.
Room 4 is quadrangular in plan (L8015; 4.5 × 5.5 m) and its floor comprises two layers: a layer of fine, beige clay (thickness c. 0.2 m) laid on a bedding of pebbles. The upper layer retains crisscross tread marks of a tractor; it nevertheless yielded a few scattered coins and Byzantine-period potsherds, including an intact candlestick. Beneath the pebble bedding, a hoard of roughly one hundred small bronze coins was discovered. The coins were held in a cloth sack, of which only very small fragments were preserved (Fig. 3).
(L8014) was built over a room from the Byzantine period; it was only partially unearthed. Its walls were preserved to the height of one course. A Samara Formation ashlar uncovered in the center of the room was engraved with numerous hollows forming a Mancala playing board. The room opens to the west, to a room belonging to the ‘Palm Tree House’ excavated by Hirschfeld (L3365; Hirschfeld 2007
:55). The opening is blocked by the later, Mamluk-period building (Room 6).
Room 6 (L8021), built in the Mamluk period, retained a single course of its southern wall (W803) and a floor of greenish clay that was damaged by plowing. Scant remains of the western wall were found above a Byzantine wall (W802), and even fewer remains were discovered in the east and north, all of which will be examined further in the coming season.
The area excavated in the current season was similar to that uncovered in the previous season. The meager remains from the Byzantine period include walls preserved to the height of one or two courses and floors that were found right below the surface. For the first time, however, traces of a building from the Mamluk period were uncovered. The current season recovered few finds, except for the hoard of coins found beneath the floor in Room 4, which raises questions regarding the circumstances of its concealment.
The next season will extend the excavation northward, exposing the top of the walls that join the two parts of the village excavated by Hirschfeld.