The Byzantine period
Some walls of worked limestone blocks were built on a thin layer of soil directly overlying bedrock (Fig. 1). The walls (W102, W102A, W106, W107, W110, W114 and W115) are contemporary and define four rooms (L104, L105, L108 and L112) of a single building (Fig. 2), whose orientation is exactly along the cardinal directions. The walls (width 0.8–1.2 m), mostly built of two faces of worked stones with a core of small fieldstones (Fig. 3), are preserved one–two courses high (0.3–0.5 m). A small row of stones (W103) that created a corner seems to be a remnant of a later addition. A facing layer of small stones and mortar was preserved on the eastern face of W115. Room 112 (c. 2.5 × 4.0 m) was enclosed by four walls (102A, 106, 114, 115) with a possible entrance in W106, although this was not clear. The floor (L112a) of packed earth was overlain with a few potsherds, including a black bag-shaped storage jar with white lines, typical of the Byzantine period. Room 104 (4 × 5 m) had a thicker layer of brown packed earth (thickness c. 0.3 m) that contained a significant quantity of ash, charcoal, plaster and a few Byzantine potsherds. This room may have been a courtyard. Rooms 105 and 108 contained stone collapse, but no floors overlying the uneven bedrock were preserved. The few potsherds on the bedrock and in the collapse could be dated to the Late Byzantine period. No coins and only a few tiny glass fragments were found.
The location of the building at the top of the hill and the width of the walls suggests that the remains were part of a large, public building. Similar wide walls exposed in the adjacent excavation, c. 25 m away (U. Ben-Zioni, pers. comm.) raises the possibility that these walls may have been part of a single large building complex. The orientation of the walls exactly along the cardinal points and the dating to the Byzantine period may imply that the building was a church. Additional support for this interpretation is provided by a pile of four finely carved architectural elements found in the immediate vicinity (Fig. 4).
The Late Ottoman period
A few centimeters below surface some patches of packed tiny stones with mortar and plaster (L101) were uncovered directly above the wall tops of the Byzantine building. The few potsherds found in association with these floor patches dated to the Ottoman period. This floor thus belongs to the Late Ottoman building that was demolished and removed prior to the current excavation.