During March 2007, a trial excavation was conducted along the eastern fringes of Tel Te’o (Permit No. A-5053; map ref. NIG 253590/781657; OIG 203590/281657), prior to development work. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by A. Abu Hamid, with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration) and A. Hajian (surveying).
Tel Te’o, on the western edge of the Hula Valley, is c. 8 km south of Qiryat Shemona on the road to Rosh Pinna. The tell lies south of ‘En Te’o and covers an area of c. 30 dunams. The large excavation that had been conducted at the site in 1986 revealed thirteen occupation levels that dated to Pre-pottery Neolithic B, Pottery Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Early Bronze IA, Early Bronze II and the Middle Ages (IAA Reports 13).
Two squares (2 × 2 m and 5 × 5 m) were opened and thre om the eighth millennium BCE and possibly even earlier. Strata II and I were devoid of finds, yet e strata were exposed. Stratum III, the principal layer, dated to the Pre-pottery Neolithic period fr they contained a few small and much worn potsherds that had penetrated from the area west of the tell.
The stratum (68.33 m above sea level) was composed of gray clay and a few small and medium- sized fieldstones. It contained organic material, fresh-water mollusks (Melanopsis), very small and worn potsherds, blades, flint debitage and poorly preserved animal bones.
The stratum (68.98 m above sea level) was composed of yellowish brown clay, devoid of any ceramic artifacts.
The stratum (71.80 m above sea level in the south, 69.44 m in the north) was composed of soft brown clay with a few small fieldstones and very small worn potsherds that dated to the Chalcolithic period and mostly to Early Bronze II and the Middle Ages.
Despite the paucity of finds, the eastern boundary of Tel Te’o can be drawn. The settlement remains from the Pottery Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Early Bronze I and II and the Middle Ages did not reach this area, which was covered by the lake.
The excavation has shown that human activity in the vicinity of the lake had begun in the Pre-pottery Neolithic period and perhaps even earlier. The flint blades and debitage exposed in situ confirmed this conclusion.