During December 2005, an excavation was conducted along the Yattir Forest road (Permit No. A-4655; map ref. NIG 19959–82/58417–38; OIG 14959–82/08417–38). The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by A. Krokhmalnik, with the assistance of V. Essman and V. Pirsky (surveying) and T. Sagiv (field photography).
Two excavation areas (A, B) were opened.
Area A (Fig. 1). A rock-hewn winepress was discovered. It consisted of a shallow rectangular treading floor (2.15 × 2.60 m, depth 0.36 m) and a rectangular collecting vat (0.85 × 1.40 m, depth 1.05 m). The treading floor was linked to the collecting vat by way of a gutter that was hewn in the center of the floor’s northern side. A sump (diam. 0.3 m) was cut in the bottom of the collecting vat.
Walls were discovered south and west of the treading floor. Wall 51 (length 2.6 m, width 0.2 m), built of kurkar stones, was preserved a single course high (0.3 m); W52 (length 2.15 m, width 0.2 m) was also built of kurkar stones and preserved a single course high (0.2 m). Several potsherds that dated to the Byzantine period were found around the winepress.
Area B. A rock-hewn cistern with a rounded opening (diam. 0.5 m) that was built of curved stone sections (diam. 2 m) was discovered. A cupmark to the southeast of the cistern’s opening was probably used to stand pottery vessels in. To the east and west of the cistern’s opening were hewn channels for collecting water, which contained a few body sherds of jars from the Byzantine period.