During May 2009, a salvage excavation was conducted in Ramat Yishay (Permit No. A-5628; map ref. 215461–85/734035–65), prior to the construction of a private residence. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by Avi Oshurowitz, was directed by B. Hanna (surveying, drafting and field photography) and Y. Lavan (administration).
To ensure an easy and safe working environment, mechanical equipment was used prior to the excavation to remove the upper portion of the cistern’s side (depth c. 1.8 m; Fig. 2) that was exposed in the previous excavation. The cistern, which had a round opening, was narrow on top and became wider toward its bottom (diam. of opening 0.75 m, diam. at the bottom c. 3.8 m, depth c. 4.5 m; Figs. 3, 4). The sides and bottom of the cistern were not coated with plaster. An accumulation of potsherds from the Roman period (L122) was discovered directly above the bottom of the cistern (L123). Inside the cistern was light brown soil fill mixed with many well-dressed limestone architectural elements, including a column drum and a mortar, small chunks of plaster and fragments of pottery vessels from the Roman period. It seems that the cistern was hewn in the Early Roman period and was blocked at some point later in the Roman period.