During March 2000 a development survey was conducted in the vicinity of Modi‘in (License No. G-125/2000*). Two areas with extensive flint scatterings were discovered. The survey, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by H. Khalaily, R. Bankirer and V. Zbenovich.
The survey aimed at delineating the distribution of the flint in the two areas (A, B), as well as document and gather the principle finds. The region of the survey is characterized by low hills of the Menuha and Mishash Formations, which include thick layers of limestone and kirton separated by a thick layer of Senonian flint. In most of the area the layers of limestone and kirton are covered with nari that was formed later in the Late Miocene and Pleistocene epochs. As a result of geomorphologic processes, upper bedrock layers were either dissolved or washed away, exposing large chunks of flint, which was used for the production of flint tools in the Neolithic period discovered in the survey.
Area A (10 dunam; map ref. NIG 20041/64372; OIG 15041/14372) is located on the lower southwestern slope of Mitham Buchman. The region is mainly formed of limestone and nari; small sections are covered with grumusol. Medium concentrations of knapped flint (10–20 items per sq m) were discovered throughout the area. High densities of tool clusters were uncovered at two places, indicating prolonged activity, although the two assemblages were of a different nature. The first assemblage consisted of cores, flakes and the related products of a bi-facial industry, including several flint axes that are noteworthy in that they were made using a technique characteristic of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A period (tenth millennium BP; Fig. 1). The implement assemblage probably belonged to a large Neolithic site that extended across the northern slope of the hill, where a salvage excavation was conducted by V. Zbenovich. The second assemblage was found c. 100 m west of the first assemblage and included blades and tools knapped on blades in densities of up to 50 items per sq m, among them an axe (Fig. 2:1) and three sickle blades. The blades, knapped on broad blades, were denticulated by means of pressure flaking (Fig. 2:2) that was visible on the ventral surface of the tool and on its dorsal side. The cutting edge was deeply denticulated. Sickle blades of this type are common to the Jericho IX culture (Lodian) of the Pottery Neolithic period (seventh millennium BP).
Area B (c. 20 dunam; map ref. NIG 20007/64374; OIG 15007/14374). Surface is covered with chalky rock and large flint blocks (6–8 m) that occur in a swath across the hill from east to west. A high concentration of natural flint fragments, established through the chemical weathering of flint blocks, was found.
The survey contributed significantly to the understanding of prehistoric settlement in the Modi‘in region. Discoveries of finds from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A––flint axes with lateral flaking––reinforce the contention that the region was densely settled at this time. This settlement was mainly occupied with production of flint implements, such as bifacial tools. Finds from the Pottery Neolithic period, whose occurrence in this region was unknown until now, were revealed as well.