During March 2007, an excavation was conducted at Tel Yavne (Permit No. A-5092; map ref. NIG 17570–89/64160–70; OIG 12570–89/14160–70), after ancient remains were damaged. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Israel Electric Company, was directed by F. Volynsky, with the assistance of S. Ya‘aqov-Jam (administration), D. Porotzky (surveying and drafting), M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing) and M. Ajami and M. Peilstöcker.
The excavation was carried out along the western fringes of Tel Yavne. Three excavation squares (A, B, C; Fig. 1) oriented east–west were opened. Squares B and C were adjacent to each other and c. 20 m east of Square A. Building remains from the Early Islamic, Mamluk and Ottoman periods and the British Mandate era were exposed. Settlement remains and tombs that ranged in date from the Iron Age until the Early Islamic period had been previously uncovered in excavations at the site (Permit Nos. A-1613, A-1798, A-3757).
Square A (Fig. 2). Remains of a residential building that was generally aligned north–south were exposed. All that survived of the building were a wall (W4) and a floor of gray plaster (L119) that abutted it from the west. Wall 4 (exposed length 2.2 m, width c. 0.3 m), preserved five courses high (c. 0.7 m), was built of dressed stones and medium-sized fieldstones. Soil fill discovered next to and beneath W4 yielded potsherds from the Early Islamic period, including a crude bowl (Fig. 3:1). A new building was constructed atop the remains of the ancient building (L109) in the twentieth century CE.
Square B (Fig. 4). Remains of a wall (W3) were exposed in the western part of the square. Wall 3, oriented north–south, was built of medium fieldstones without bonding material (exposed length 2.3 m, width c. 0.45 m); it was preserved four courses high (c. 0.4 m). Near the wall’s foundation, soil fill that contained potsherds, including a crude bowl (Fig. 3:2), a glazed bowl (Fig. 3:3) and a jar without a neck (Fig. 3:4), which dated the wall to the Mamluk period, was discovered. A floor (L117) of medium-sized fieldstones was discovered in the eastern part of the square. Numerous potsherds that dated to the Ottoman period overlaid the floor, which was damaged as a result of modern activity.
Square C (Fig. 5). Three construction phases were discerned. The earliest phase consisted of a wall (W2), oriented east–west and built of medium-sized fieldstones, without bonding material (exposed length 2.7 m, width c. 0.4 m); it was preserved four courses high (c. 0.35 m). Close to and below the wall, soil fill that contained potsherds, including a jar (Fig. 3:5) and a body fragment with geometric decoration (Fig. 3:6), which dated the wall to the Mamluk period, was exposed. A wall (W1; length 3.9 m, width 0.5 m) whose construction and direction were similar to those of W2 was built in the middle phase. Wall 1 abutted the western end of another wall (W5), which was aligned north–south and built in a similar manner (exposed length 2.3 m, width 0.4 m). Potsherds were discovered near the two walls, dating them to the Ottoman period. During the last phase, at the end of the Ottoman period and during the British Mandate era, the area was covered with soil fill and an installation (L105) of red painted plaster that probably served for storing liquids, was constructed above it.