In May–June 2007 a trial excavation was conducted in Nahal Be’er Sheva‘ (Permit No. A-5139; map ref. NIG 175421–53/570216–54; OIG 125421–53/070216–54). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Antiquities Authority with the financial support of the Israel Natural Gas Lines Company, was directed by D. Varga and A. Krokhmelnik, with the participation of S. Lender (administration), A. Hajian and N. Zak (surveying and drafting), I. Lidsky-Reznikov(pottery drawing), F. Sontag and N.S. Paran (Southern Region).
The site is located on a level area c. 20 m from the Nahal Be’er Sheva‘ river channel and c. 1.5 km southwest of Be’er Sheva‘ (Fig. 1).
Two areas (A, B) were excavated in which a roundish structure (20 × 25 m) was discovered (Fig. 2). Sections of its perimeter wall (W1, W2, W3), which was built of flint and undressed chalk stones, survived to a height of two courses (0.55 m); no remains of a floor were found.
A few potsherds were discovered in the structure, mostly on either side of Wall 2. These included a Late Roman C bowl (Fig. 3:1), a locally manufactured bowl (Fig. 3:2), cooking pots (Fig. 3:3, 4) and a jar (Fig. 3:5), all of which date to the Byzantine period.
The structure should probably be identified as an animal pen from the Byzantine period.