During February–March 2007, an archaeological survey was conducted in the southern part of Mishor Yamin, extending south of the nuclear reactor in Dimona (Permit No. A-5063; map ref. NIG 20860/54280; OIG 15860/04280), prior to the construction of a solar-power station. The survey, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by the Rotem Industries Company, Ltd., was directed by F. Sonntag and N.S. Paran, with the assistance of S. Gal (GPS).
The survey was carried out along a very narrow strip (length c. 7.5 km, width c. 20 m), running the length of a trail that crosses Mishor Yamin from north to south and for a distance of c. 4 km along a route that branches off from the middle of the trail to the west and northwest (Fig. 1). Five sites were identified in the northern part of the eastern survey strip, including two scatterings of flint implements and potsherds (each 50 × 50 m; Fig. 1:2, 5); a structure, two tombs and a cairn with potsherds from the Chalcolithic period (40 × 40 m; Figs. 1:3; 2, 3); a cairn (20 × 20 m; Fig. 1:4); and remains of a field wall and potsherd scattering that dated to the Iron Age and Byzantine period (30 × 30 m; Figs. 1:1; 4). It was impossible to study the settlement patterns of the region due to the limitations of the survey area.
Nine sections (length of each 20–500 m, width 2.6 m) of a fieldstone-built road with dressed curbstones were identified along a route, c. 6 km long; the northern end of the road was destroyed by modern quarrying. This is the Mamshit–Ma‘ale ‘Aqrabim road that was paved during the British Mandate (Fig. 5). Although sections of the road were dirt, it was built of stones in places where it crossed streams and sandy areas (Figs. 6, 7). The crumbling remains of a chalk milestone (Figs. 1:6; 8) were found alongside the road.