During October–November 2004 a trial excavation and documentation were conducted at Qannir (Permit No. A-4266*; map ref. 20277–87/71469–75; OIG 15277–87/21469–75) after antiquities were damaged during the course of infrastructure work. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by K. Sari, with the assistance of S. Mahajna, P. Gendelman (pottery), S. Ya‘aqov-Jam (administration), A. Hajian (surveying), M. Masarwa and J. Sharvit.
An excavation square was opened around a wall (W50; Figs. 1, 2), oriented east–west and visible on surface. Removal of the upper alluvium layer revealed an earlier wall (W51) in the southern section of the square, which traversed the area and was parallel to W50. The two walls bordered from the north and south a segment of an ancient road that extended in an east–west direction (exposed length 13 m, width 5 m).
Wall 50 and W51 were built of large ashlar stones (0.35 × 0.70 m) with a core of small stones. Sections of two road pavements (Loci 60, 61) were preserved only next to W51. A more ancient pavement (L62), preserved only next to W50, was revealed in the eastern part of the square. This pavement consisted of small stones that were placed on a firmly tamped bedding of soil. Large flagstones were not found. The upper alluvium layer yielded fragments of mixed potsherds, dating from the fourth century CE until the early seventh century CE, which can not date the road.
Probe trenches in the pavement layers (Loci 60, 61) contained fragments of pottery vessels from the third and fourth centuries CE, while the earliest level (L62) dated to the first–second centuries CE. It can be assumed in this case that the road was constructed during the Roman period and continued in use until the Byzantine period.
The location of this exposed road segment, as well as its date, identifies it as part of the road from Caesarea to Legio. A similar road segment was excavated in 2002, c. 400 m to the east (License No. B-250/2002; for roads in the Legio region, see HA-ESI 115:29*–31*; Y. Tepper , A Roman Road in ‘Iron Pass – Paving Remains from Caesarea to the Camp of the Sixth Legion at Legio, in Bar-Gal Y., Kli’ot N. and Peled A. [eds.], Studies in the Land of Israel: Aviel Ron Volume:47–73).