During January–February 2006, a trial excavation was conducted along the northeastern fringes of a site near the ‘En Tut interchange (Permit No. A-4698; map ref. NIG 204526–56/723924–48; OIG 154526–56/223924–48; Fig. 1), after ancient remains were discovered during earthworks. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Derekh Eretz Company Ltd., was directed by M.A. Tabar, with the assistance of A. Hajian and T. Kornfeld (surveying and drafting) and T. Sagiv (field photography).
A number of strata from Iron II and the Early Roman period, as well as several tombs from the Mamluk period (Permit No. A-4389) had previously been exposed to the southwest of the current excavation area. Two excavation squares were opened (Fig. 2), revealing the foundations of a wall from Iron II, which was probably the remains of a building that belonged to the settlement exposed nearby.
The wide massive wall (W7; length 9 m, width 1.87 m; Figs. 3, 4) was oriented east–west. It was built of fieldstones (up to 0.13 × 0.17 × 0.40 m) in dry construction and founded on bedrock as a series of rectangular ‘boxes’ that were filled with fieldstones of various sizes and dark brown soil (L112). The northern face of W7 was preserved five courses high, whereas its southern side had survived to three courses high. The wall had no openings and no stones in secondary use were found. To the north of the wall was a cluster of different size stones (L107; Fig. 5) that probably collapsed from the wall.
Potsherds were found on either side of the wall (Loci 107, 114), including a bowl (Fig. 6:1), a cooking pot (Fig. 6:2), and jars (Fig. 6:3, 4), dating to Iron II (eighth–seventh centuries BCE).