Area A
The Chalcolithic and Early Roman Periods
Soil fill (L123, L141, L142; thickness c. 0.7 m; Figs. 3, 4) mixed with mud-brick fragments and pottery from the Chalcolithic period was exposed. The ceramic finds from the layer included a curved bowl (Fig. 5:1), V-shaped bowls (Fig. 5:2, 3), a thick-walled bowl (Fig. 5:4) and two holemouths with a cut rim (Fig. 5:5, 6). A pit (L126; depth 0.18 m) that was dug into this soil fill contained potsherds that dated to the Early Roman period (first century CE), including a bowl with a broad ledge rim (Fig. 5:7), a curved bowl (Fig. 5:8), a burnished Cypriot bowl (Fig. 5:9), two Eastern Terra Sigillata A bowls (Fig. 5:10, 11) and cooking pots (Fig. 5:12–14).
The Byzantine Period
Remains of a built winepress (Fig. 6) were exposed on the soil fill. The installation consisted of a treading floor (L114), two rectangular fermentation vats (L129, L135), a rectangular intermediate vat (L136) and two octagonal collecting vats (L127, L130). The walls of the winepress (W14, W15) were built of fieldstone debesh bonded with hydraulic cement (width 0.5 m); they were only preserved to the height of their foundations (c. 0.15 m). The treading floor (6.0 × 7.5 m) was paved with a white industrial mosaic; a square pit (L140; 0.4 × 0.4 m, depth 0.65 m; Fig. 7) that secured a screw press was uncovered in its center. Pit 140 was hewn in circular stone sections (diam. 1 m) and its bottom was paved with stone slabs. A lead pipe led from the pit to the intermediate pit (L136; depth 0.65 m). The two collecting vats, 127 and 130 (depth 1.2 m) were built on either side of the Pit 136. A rounded settling pit (diam. 0.5 m, depth 0.4 m; Fig. 8) that had a small sump (diam. 0.2 m) in its center was installed in the midst of Collecting Vat 130. All the vats and pits were coated with white hydraulic plaster (thickness c. 0.1 m) and paved with white industrial mosaics. The two fermentation vats, 129 and 135, were adjacent to the western side of the treading floor; a plastered channel led from Vat 129 to the treading floor. The area between the vats was filled with soil and stones. A large amount of debris was discovered on top of the winepress remains, including many ceramic finds and fragments of wasters. The ceramic finds dated to the Late Byzantine period (sixth and beginning of the seventh centuries CE) and are indicative of a pottery workshop situated nearby. The finds include Late Roman C bowls (Fig. 9:1–3), kraters (Fig. 9:4–8), cooking pots (Fig. 9:9, 10), baggy-shaped jars (Fig. 9:11, 12), a Gaza ware jar (Fig. 9:13), a Yassi Ada-type jar (Fig. 9:14), jugs (Fig. 9:15–17), a juglet (Fig. 9:18), flasks (Fig. 9:19, 20) and a foot of a goblet (Fig. 9:21). Based on the dating of the ceramic artifacts found above the winepress, it is apparent that the installation ceased to be used in the Late Byzantine period.
Two walls (W13, W23; width 0.7 m, height 0.9 m) built of roughly hewn fieldstones were discovered c. 9 m east of the winepress. The walls’ foundations were dug into soil fill (L141) from the Chalcolithic period. A tamped-earth floor (L125; thickness 0.1 m) abutted the western side of W13 and potsherds dating to the Byzantine period were discovered upon it.
The Mamluk Period
Meager architectural remains were exposed above those of the Byzantine period in the southwest of the area. These included two walls (W11, W12; width 0.4 m) that were preserved a single course high (0.1 m) and tamped-earth floors (L110, L113; thickness 5–10 cm; Fig. 10) that abutted the bases of the walls. Fragments of mud bricks and potsherds from the Mamluk period (thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE) were discovered on the floors, including bowls (Fig. 5:15–17) and jugs decorated with geometric patterns (Fig. 5:18, 19). A clay tabun (L143; diam. 0.85 m, depth 0.15 m) was discovered on Floor 110. North of the tabun was an installation that included a curved stone wall (W18; diam. 3 m) preserved two courses high (0.2 m) and a tamped-earth floor (L133; thickness 5 cm) that abutted the base of the wall.
Area B
Remains of a building that dated to the Byzantine and the beginning of the Early Islamic periods were discovered (Figs. 11–13). The structure’s exterior walls were not exposed; however, parts of nine rooms (1–9) were revealed. The walls of the rooms (width 0.7–1.0 m) were founded on clay fill; most were built of two rows of fieldstones and ashlars with a core of small fieldstones. The walls were preserved two–seven courses high (0.18–0.42 m). The walls’ foundations were built of one or two courses, except for two walls (W32, W34) whose foundations consisted of five courses. The floors of the building were composed of tamped earth or stone slabs and mainly founded on clay fill. A tamped-earth floor (L356; thickness 5 cm) was exposed in Room 1. A stone-slab pavement was discovered beneath stone collapse (L319, L339; thickness 0.10–0.12 m) in Rooms 2 and 3 (c. 2.70 × 4.65 m; Fig. 14). Two round basin-like installations built of stones (L354, L355) were exposed in Room 3. Installation 354 (diam. 0.5 m, depth 0.2 m) abutted the eastern wall of the room (W31) and was dug into the floor level. Installation 355 (diam. 0.7 m, height 0.44 m) was against the western wall of Room 3 (W32) and was set on the floor of the room. A tamped-earth floor (L336; thickness 7 cm) was discovered in Room 4. A tamped-earth floor (L333; thickness 5 cm) was discovered beneath stone collapse in Room 5. An opening was set in the northern wall (W34) of Room 6. The floor of the room was not preserved due to trees planted in the modern era. Sections of a stone-slab floor (L330; thickness 0.15 m), founded on lime-based mortar mixed with small stones, were discovered beneath stone collapse in Room 7. Most of the room’s walls were not discovered, but its borders were determined on the basis of the pavement and its bedding. A tamped-earth floor (L349; thickness 8 cm) was discovered beneath stone collapse in Room 8. Room 9 was large and had an opening set in its southern wall (W33). The various pavements set in the room indicate that it was originally divided into smaller rooms whose walls were not preserved. A section of a stone pavement (L323; thickness 0.13 m) was discovered in the eastern part of the room. An installation on the floor near the room’s eastern wall (W38) was built of flat dressed limestone and small fieldstones around it; this might have been a work surface. A tamped-earth floor covered with clay fill (L313; thickness 6 cm) was discovered in the northwestern part of the room and a tamped earth floor was discovered beneath a level of pottery workshop debris in the south of the room (L317; thickness 5 cm).
Fragments of pottery vessels that dated to the end of the Byzantine and the beginning of the Islamic periods (sixth–seventh centuries CE) were discovered on the floors of the rooms, including Late Roman C bowls (Fig. 15:2–4), Fine Islamic Ware bowls (Fig. 15:1, 5), kraters (Fig. 15:6, 7), a frying pan (Fig. 15:8), a casserole (Fig. 15:9), a lid (Fig. 15:10), baggy-shaped jar (Fig. 15:11), Ashqelon jar (Fig. 15:12), Gaza jars (Fig. 15:13, 14), Fine Byzantine Ware juglets (Fig. 15:15, 16) and a sandal lamp (Fig. 15:17).
Gabriella Bijovsky
Twelve poorly preserved bronze coins were discovered in Area B, of which a single coin could not be identified. The coins date from the third century to the Umayyad period (Table 1). The two earliest coins date from the second to the beginning of the fourth centuries CE. Eight of the coins date to the fourth century CE, mainly to the end of the century; one of them dates to the years 364–375 CE, three date to the years 383–395 CE and one dates to the end of the fourth century CE and beginning of the fifth century CE (395–408 CE). The latest coin dates to the Umayyad period.
Table 1. Coins from Area B
Ruler/Date (CE)
Umayyad–post reform, eighth century, fals
c. 290–320
Roman provincial, second–third centuries
Fourth century
Fourth century
End of the fourth century
Arcadius, 383–395, SALVS REIPVBLICAE
Flint Tools
Jacob Vardi
Two flint debitage items and four flint tools were recovered from the soil fill (L123) discovered in Area A. The flint debitage items include a single fragment of a crested blade and a small flake core, both of which are non-diagnostic. The flint tools include a denticulated artifact of translucent gray flint (Chalcedony) and a crested blade with direct retouch on one edge and a notch on the other edge that is knapped on the ventral side and has a truncation on its distal end. The other two flint tools are typical of the Chalcolithic period. One of the tools is a sickle blade that is missing one of its ends (width 13.8 mm, thickness 5 mm; Fig. 16:1). It has a retouched back and a delicately denticulated cutting edge bearing sickle gloss. The second tool is a distal fragment of an adze (width 33 mm, thickness 17 mm; Fig. 16:2) knapped on gray–brown flint; polishing is evident on both of its surfaces. The presence of both tools from the Chalcolithic period seems to indicate that a site from this period is located nearby.
The Glass Finds
Natalya Katsnelson
The excavation yielded 469 glass fragments—a surprisingly large amount for a small agricultural village. However, the 104 diagnostic fragments were less than a quarter of the whole corpus. The finds were poorly preserved, dating mostly to the Byzantine period; a couple of specimens can be dated to the end of the Byzantine–beginning of the Umayyad periods, and a few are of the Mamluk period.
The Byzantine material was scattered in Areas A and B, which included an olive press and a public building, but came mostly from non-stratified pits and fills. The vessel repertoire consists mainly of tableware types, bowls with a rounded and out-folded rim, beakers with a trail-wound base, cylindrical bottles, juglets with a funnel-shaped mouth, wineglasses with a hollow ring-base, and some cosmetic vessels, including jars and a double-tube bottle. All these fragments represent simple domestic vessels of naturally-colored blown glass. Several of the fragments, including a wineglass, a double-tube and a few bottles, carry patterns of applied blue and turquoise trails. Vessels of similar types, dating from the late fourth to the seventh centuries CE, are widely spread in local sites, particularly at Ashqelon (Katsnelson 1999; Katsnelson and Jackson-Tal 2004).
Several specimens from various periods were selected for publication (Fig. 17). The trail-decorated wineglass (Fig. 17:1) was found in a treading floor of a winepress, excavated in Area A (L114). It features a thickened, rounded, incurving rim with a spirally-wound bluish trail and a hollow ring-base. Both rim and base fragments are made of light bluish green glass and are likely to be of the same vessel. Similarly decorated wineglasses are widely distributed in Israel, mainly in contexts of the sixth–seventh centuries CE (Katsnelson 1999: Fig. 2:9–14; Katsnelson and Jackson-Tal 2004: Fig. 1:10, 14).   
The bottle with a rounded incurving rim (Fig. 17:2) has a tall cylindrical neck with a spirally-wound trail. Small remnants of another trail or a handle are attached to the side of the rim and neck. Although the fragment came from a non-stratified context in Area B (L329), it is noteworthy as an unusual version of fifth–sixth centuries CE bottles, which were fashioned with two handles running as trails along the sides of the rim and neck (for possible complete shapes, see Israeli 2003: Cat. Nos. 352–354).
A bottle fragment with a deformed rim and a cylindrical neck (Fig. 17:3) was found in Area B, on a floor in Room 4 (L336). The rim is widely flaring out, folded inward and pressed at the top. Despite its deformation, the shape and greenish blue fabric suggest that the fragment belongs to a bottle of the late Byzantine or Umayyad periods. 
Two Mamluk-dated fragments, a cosmetic bottle and a bracelet (Fig. 17:4, 5), were found on the surface and are possibly related to a Late Islamic building in Area A. The small bottle (L105; Fig. 17:4), probably used for kohl, has a characteristic elongated conical body with a quadrangular cross-section. It was made of translucent deep-blue glass, which is rather rare for containers of this type, and decorated with a spirally-wound opaque white trail, fused into its walls. The polychrome bracelet (L106; Fig. 17:5) is made of dark blue glass that appears black. It has a circular cross-section, and is ornamented with two twisted trails, white and brownish red. Both the bottle and bracelet types are common finds in local contexts of the fourteenth–fifteenth centuries CE, often occurring together (Gorin-Rosen 1999: Fig. 1:5, 9). Twisted bracelets of various color combinations continued to be manufactured in Israel up to the twentieth century.
The oldest remains at the site date to the Chalcolithic period and they seem to indicate that a settlement from this period is situated nearby. The pit and fragments of pottery vessels from the Early Roman period show that only limited activity transpired at the site at this time. A large winepress dating to the Byzantine period was exposed. A similar winepress that dates to the Byzantine period was previously unearthed at Ashqelon (ESI 13:101–103). The large amount of ceramic artifacts in the area of the winepress show that a pottery workshop was situated nearby at the end of the Byzantine period and that the wasters from the workshop were discarded in the winepress’ vicinity. Remains of a well-planned and well-constructed public building were exposed in Area B; it dates to the end of the Byzantine and the beginning of the Early Islamic periods. Among the finds discovered in the building were coins from the fourth century CE. The discovery of ancient coins at Late Byzantine period sites is common in the region of the Mediterranean basin, and it seems that sometimes the coins continued to be used for 200 years (Bijovsky 2000). Meager architectural remains from the Mamluk period show that a settlement from this time was situated in the vicinity.

Bijovsky G. 2000–2002. The Currency of the Fifth Century C.E. in Palestine – Some Reflections in Light of the Numismatic Evidence. Israel Numismatic Journal 14:196–210.
Gorin-Rosen Y. 1999. The Glass Vessels from Giv‘at Yasaf (Tell er-Ras). ‘Atiqot 37:137–140 (Hebrew; English summary, p.175*).
Guérin V. 1982. Description géographique, historique et archéologique de la Palestine. Vol. 2. Judah (2). [Hebrew translation of the French edition from 1868 by Haim Ben Amram]. Jerusalem.
Israeli Y. 2003. Ancient Glass in the Israel Museum: The Eliahu Dobkin Collection and Other Gifts (Cat. No. 486). Jerusalem.
Katsnelson N. 1999. Glass Vessels from the Painted Tomb at Migdal Ashqelon. ‘Atiqot 37:67*–82*.
Katsnelson N. and Jackson-Tal R.E. 2004. The Glass Vessels from Ashqelon, Semadar Hotel. ‘Atiqot 48:99–109.