Winepress 2 (Figs. 3, 4) is a medium-sized winepress hewn in a hard limestone outcrop, on a level lower than that of Winepress 1. The eastern part of the winepress was hewn above the bedrock ceiling of Cave 3. The wine press was bounded on the south and north by building stone quarries. The installation’s treading floor (L111) had been excavated in 2011, whereas the settling pit and collecting vat were revealed in this season. The treading floor sloped eastward, toward an elliptical settling pit (L130; 0.9 × 1.0 m, depth c. 0.9 m) and an elliptical collecting vat (L140; 1.2 × 1.6 m, depth c. 1.8 m; Fig. 5). The floor and walls of the collecting vat were treated with a layer of light gray plaster containing a small amount of charcoal, typical of Second Temple-period winepresses. The surplus must flowed from the collecting vat of Winepress 1 to the treading floor of Winepress 2. Thus, it seems that after Winepress 2 was hewn, the two winepresses operated simultaneously. An opening leading to Cave 3 (below) was breached in the southern wall of the collecting vat after the winepress was no longer in use.
Cave 3 (L132). This is a natural, elliptical cave on a qirton terrace. Winepress 2 was hewn in the nari outcrop above the cave; the entrance to the cave was breached from its collecting vat. The cave comprised a single chamber (3.3 × 3.8 m, max. height 2.4 m) with an opening facing north. The opening and parts of the cave were damaged by a tree that grew in the collecting vat of Winepress 2 and by the water that seeped through its roots. Jar fragments and modern day objects were discovered in a brown soil that accumulated in the upper part of the cave. A layer of gray soil, devoid of artifacts (L131), was discovered about 1 m above the cave’s floor. Several animal bones and an in situ cooking pot, dating to either the Mamluk or the Early Ottoman period (Fig. 6), were found on the cave’s bedrock floor (L143); a similar cooking pot was discovered at Khirbet el-Qatt (Har Homa; Permit No. A-6652). It seems that the cave was briefly used as a shelter or dwelling during either the Mamluk or the Early Ottoman period.
Building 1 (4.5 × 5.0 m; Figs. 7, 8). The foundation walls (W121, W122, W127; maximum preserved height c. 1.5 m) of the modern building were constructed over a farming terrace wall (W124); Walls 121 and 122 were wide (1.9 m), whereas W127 was narrow. The walls were built of an outer row of roughly hewn rectangular stone slabs and an inner lining of small and medium fieldstones bonded with red soil, lime and gravel. A small niche (0.9 × 1.0 m), enclosed within three short walls (W123, W125, W126), was constructed along the central part of the eastern wall (W127). A dressed threshold stone with a depression for a door hinge and the ashlar bases of a doorjamb were installed in the opening of the niche. A section of the building’s concrete ceiling had collapsed on the niche. A five-agorot coin from 1961 was discovered in W122 (the southern wall), indicating that the building was constructed that year or later.
Farming Terrace 3 (W120; width 0.4–0.5 m; Figs. 9, 10) was built of one or two rows of fieldstones, six to seven courses high (c. 2 m). The outer face of the wall was well built, whereas the inside face was haphazardly constructed. The wall blocked alluvium and modern-day construction debris (L136). A rectangular opening (L139; 0.4 × 0.5 m) was constructed in the wall: two rectangular ashlars that served as a threshold and a lintel, as well as three rectangular stones on either side that supported the lintel. The opening was blocked by brown alluvium devoid of finds (L138). It seems that the opening was meant to drain the rainwater that accumulated in the area of the farming terrace in order to reduce the hydrostatic pressure on the wall. Contemporary artifacts discovered in the soil fill on both sides of the wall (L136, L137), among them pieces of asbestos and cement, as well as the light-colored patina of the walls’ stones, indicate the recent date of the structure.
During the excavation, the unearthing of a rock-hewn winepress that might have been used in the Second Temple period was completed. During the Mamluk or, possibly, the Early Ottoman period, an opening leading to a natural cave was breached in the wall of the winepress’s collecting vat; it seems that the cave was used for only a brief period. Nearby were the remains of a modern building and farming terrace.