During August 2004, a survey prior to development was conducted in Moshav Zuri’el (Permit No. A-4193*; map ref. NIG 2288–92/7676–80; OIG 1788–92/2676–80), in an area slated for expansion. The survey, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by Y. Lerer, with the assistance of A. Shapiro (GPS), H. Abu ‘Uqsa and E. Stern.
The survey to the west of Moshav Zuri’el was conducted on the easternmost hill, upon which the Arab village of Suhmata was located. Ancient settlement remains were discerned among the ruins of the village. Potsherds that dated to the Middle Ages were collected and cisterns, an underground water reservoir and a burial cave that apparently dated to the Roman period, were recorded.
Thirteen sites with antiquities were measured (Fig. 1):
1. Rock-hewn cistern.
2. Burial cave (2.5 × 2.5 m), in whose center is a shallow standing pit, surrounded by seven hewn kokhim. The burial style of the cave points to a date in the Roman period.
3. Rock-hewn cistern.
4. A rectangular structure. The north-south oriented wall is c. 1 m wide.
5. Remains of five buildings from the ruinous village, in whose walls ancient ashlar stones were incorporated.
6. Remains of a building with a cistern in its courtyard.
7. Remains of a building. A hewn water reservoir with plastered walls and a vaulted ceiling was discerned beneath its foundations. Pottery dating to the Middle Ages was collected from around the building.
8–10. Remains of buildings from the ruinous village, in whose walls ancient ashlar stones were incorporated.
11. Rock-hewn cistern.
12. A building with five vaults. A courtyard (10 × 16 m) surrounded by a stone wall is located west of the building. Another small courtyard, probably a later addition, is located south of the building.
13. Ancient quarry.