During May 1998, a salvage excavation was conducted at Ramat Yishay (Permit No. A-2866; map ref. NIG 2164/7347; OIG 1664/2347), prior to construction work. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by Y. Cohen, was directed by A. Oshri (photography and archaeozoology), with the assistance of Z. Gal (surveying and drafting), E.J. Stern (pottery reading) and G. Midbari (pottery drawing).
Two strata were exposed in the opened area (50 sq m). The early stratum dated to the Early Islamic period and the later one, which consisted of three architectural phases, was from Mamluk period.
Several fragments of bowls (Fig. 2:1, 2) from the Byzantine period, without architecture, were found on bedrock.
The earliest architectural feature was a cylindrical rock-hewn pit, not plastered (L8; diam. and depth 1.7 m; Fig. 1); its sides were cracked and it may have been used as an underground granary. Sealed in the pit were potsherds from the Umayyad period, including three black burnished bowls decorated with incising (Fig. 2:3–5), jugs (Fig. 2:6–8) and juglets (Fig. 2:9, 10).
Three separate architectural units that may attest to three phases from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries CE were identified on bedrock. Building I (L4; W5, W9, W10) was the earliest of the structures and a built installation was found in it. Building II (L7) had a wall (W1) and a plaster floor that abutted it from the south; below the floor was a table amphora from the Mamluk period (Fig. 2:12). Building III (L6) included Walls 3 and 4. South of Wall 4 (L5) and above the opening to Pit 8 was a concentration of bones and complete vessels, in situ, including a brown-glazed bowl (Fig. 2:11) and a cooking pot with horizontally set loop handles from the Mamluk period (Fig. 2:13). A few glass fragments were also collected. The animal bones included goat, cattle and non-diagnostic fowl from the Early Islamic period and horse, cattle, two upper jaw bones of swine, fowl, and pieces of turtle shell from the Mamluk level.