Area A
Eighteen hewn pits were discovered after kurkar bedrock was exposed with the aid of a backhoe (Fig. 2); during the exposure, an intact lamp from the Hellenistic period was discovered. The pits were divided into four types: (1) large, circular and deep ( E, F, G, W; max. diam. 2.65 m, max. depth 2.2 m); (2) medium-sized, circular and shallower (H, L, M, P; max. diam. 1.4 m; max. depth 0.75 m); (3) small, circular and shallow (I, J, N, O, Q, R-T, U; diam. c. 0.7 m, depth c. 0.2 m), the likes of which had previously been uncovered in this region and some scholars suggested they were modern pits for planting trees; and (4) an irregular-shaped rock-cutting (K; length 2.2 m, width 1.4 m, depth 1.35 m) whose sides were uneven and its floor straight.
The pits of the third type yielded no finds, whereas the other three types were filled with grayish black soil that attested to decomposition of organic material. The ceramic finds recovered from the fill included fragments of a bowl from MB IIB (Fig. 3:1); bowls (Fig. 3:2, 3) and a cooking pot (Fig. 3:4) from the Hellenistic period; and a bowl (Fig. 3:5) and jars (Fig. 3:6–9) from the Ottoman period. Other artifacts from these rock-cuttings included a fragment of a polished green stone with a perforation (whetstone? Fig. 4:1); a marble basin that was probably a column drum in secondary use from the Roman period (Fig. 4:2); poorly preserved glass fragments of a bracelet or handle; an iron nail; ashlar stones and animal bones. Three of the rock-cuttings (E, L, M) contained tabun fragments and a hearth was discovered at the bottom of Rock-cutting M. Although mixed finds were discovered in most rock-cuttings, the majority of finds belonged to the Hellenistic and Ottoman periods. It therefore seems that these rock-cuttings were part of the agricultural installation system of the Hellenistic settlement at the site; they were probably used as silos and in the Ottoman period, they were refuse pits.
Area B (Fig. 5)
Four squares were opened in dark soil, after fragments of pottery vessels and plaster were discovered in the backhoe probe trenches.
Square A. A triangular-shaped rock shelter was discovered in the western part of the square; it protected a semicircular hollow that was hewn to its east and contained burnt traces (L135), probably of a tabun. A bedrock floor (L133) abutted the tabun and two bowls (Fig. 6:3, 4) and a dipper juglet (Fig. 6:9) from MB IIB were found in situ above it (L141). The bottom part of a juglet and fragments of large storage jars that dated to the same period were discovered in the fill close to bedrock surface in the southwestern corner of the square. A hewn corner covered with medium-sized stones (L134), which may be the remains of a tomb, was uncovered on a bedrock ledge in the northwestern corner of the square. The fill in this rock-cutting, which contained several fragments of pottery vessels that also dated to MB IIB, was only partially excavated (max. depth 0.66 m) due to safety precautions.
Square B. A floor of small stones, bonded with mortar and overlain with numerous fragments of pottery vessels from the Hellenistic period, was discovered in the eastern part of the square (L124).
Square C. A floor paved with several stones and overlain with fragments of pottery vessels from the Hellenistic period was exposed (L122). Remains of a clay tabun that belonged to this habitation level were visible in the square’s northeastern balk (L142). A floor was discovered c. 0.15 m below this layer, almost on bedrock surface. Fragments of pottery vessels that dated to MB IIB were found on several stones that survived of the floor (L128).
Square D. A few stones that belonged to a floor (L137) and potsherds from the Hellenistic period were exposed.