During July 2007, a trial excavation was conducted at the modern village of Er-Rama (Permit No. A-5175; map ref. NIG 234460–74/760030–42; OIG 184460–74/260030–42), prior to construction. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by G. Cinamon, with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration), M. Hartal (archaeological consultation) and laborers from the village of Yafia‘.
A single square was excavated in the southern part of the village, adjacent to the remains of a winepress, residential buildings, a church and a Roman bathhouse (HA 44:7; HA-ESI 113:10*). Numerous potsherds that dated to the Late Roman period were discovered on surface and the foundation of a wall, which was not preserved, was uncovered.
Bedrock was exposed at a depth of 2.4 m below surface (354.1 m above sea level) and ground water, which is part of the aquifer that includes the three nearby springs of ‘En Zarar, ‘En Hadim and ‘En ‘Izzim, emerged.
An ancient, east–west oriented, channel (width 1.5 m, depth 0.33 m) was exposed in the middle of the excavation area, running its entire length. It was dug into a layer of loose soil, which was a later fill that comprised medium and large roughly hewn fieldstones, with no potsherds.
Numerous fragments of pottery vessels that dated to the Late Roman period (fourth–fifth centuries CE) were found above the stones on the surface.
Above the surface in the southeastern part of the excavation area was a uniform surface of flat roughly hewn stones that served as the foundation of a wall (length 1.2 m), which did not survive. The stones of the wall’s foundation, fragments of glass and pottery vessels, as well as traces of ancient plaster on the roughly hewn stones were probably the remains of the structure that was not preserved, whose building stones were scattered across the surface.