During March and August 2002, a salvage excavation was conducted along the southwestern fringes of the Meisar village (Permit No. A-3602; map ref. NIG 204125–50/70556–8; OIG 154125–50/20556–8). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Menashe Regional Council, was directed by K. Sa‘id, with the assistance of A. Hajian and V. Essman (surveying), L. Kupershmidt (metallurgical laboratory), O. Shorr (glass restoration), C. Hersch (drawing of pottery and glass vessels), N. Katsnelson (glass finds) and D.T. Ariel (numismatics).
Previous excavations and surveys that had been carried out in the village exposed remains of buildings, rock-hewn installations and fragments of pottery vessels that dated from the Roman until the Early Islamic periods (HA-ESI 120
; Survey of the Map of Ma‘anit 
, Site 34).
An excavation area (210 sq m) was opened on a low hill in the middle of the village and three strata from the Roman and Byzantine periods were discovered (Figs. 1, 2).
Two quarries, each with four rock-hewn steps, were exposed in the nari bedrock (Loci 116, 118, 126). The quarries had been filled with soil and the Stratum II buildings were constructed above them. The soil fill in the quarries contained numerous fragments of pottery vessels, including a jar (Fig. 3:1) dated to the Roman period and two lamps (Fig. 3:2, 3) that dated to the first–third centuries CE.
Remains of walls and floors that can be ascribed to three buildings (A–C) were exposed.
Building A. Two fieldstone walls (W209, W210), preserved two courses high, were exposed in the western part of the excavation area; the walls were abutted by a floor of crushed chalk (L123). Wall 210 was abutted by Wall 213, which together formed the corner of a room. Wall 213 was next to another wall (W214), founded on bedrock.
Building B. Sections of fieldstone-built walls and floors, probably the remains of rooms and a corridor were exposed in the southeastern part of the excavation area. The walls in the west of the building (W200, W201, W203) formed a room and were abutted by a floor of crushed chalk (L103). Wall 201 was abutted by W202, in which a perforated ashlar stone in secondary use was incorporated. A corridor that had a stone pavement (L131) was formed by Wall 203 and Wall 219 to its north, which was oriented east–west. East of the corridor was another corner of a room (W207, W215) that may possibly be ascribed to this building. A wall (W222) that was abutted on the south by a chalk floor (L127) extended north of and parallel to Wall 207.
Building C. The remains of walls (W216, W218, W220) that formed a room were exposed in the northeastern part of the excavation area. A chalk floor (L122) abutted the western side of W218.
The pottery recovered from the fill in the walls and above Floor 123 included fragments of a cooking pot (Fig. 3:4), jars (Fig. 3:5–7) and jugs (Fig. 3:8, 9) that dated to the Roman period (first–second centuries CE).
Remains of walls (W206, W211, W212, W223) that were built on top of Floor 122 of Stratum II were exposed in the northern part of the excavation area. The walls, built of large fieldstones, were preserved two courses high. Walls 206 and 212 were parallel to each other and oriented north–south. Walls 211 and 223, of which only the foundations were preserved, probably connected W206 with W212. South of these walls was another wall (W208), built of fieldstones and aligned east–west. It should probably also be ascribed to this stratum.
Fragments of cooking pan and pot (Fig. 4:1, 2) and jars (Fig. 4:3–9) that dated from the Late Roman period to and into the Byzantine period were discovered in the fill of Walls 206 and 212.
Sixteen identified coins, which are chronologically consistent with the strata discovered at the site, were found. One coin with a rectangular countermark, depicting a head facing right, was discovered in Stratum III (L114; IAA 97643) and is dated to sometime in the first century CE. The dates of all other coins are in keeping with that of Stratum I, from the end of the Roman period and into the Byzantine period. The earliest of them may have been struck by Empress Salonina (250–268 CE; IAA 97653), but most of the coins date to the fourth century CE (IAA 97644–97646, 97648–97652, 97654–97658). The latest coin is a follis of the emperor Justin II from the year 573/74 CE (Constantinople mint; IAA 97647).
The site yielded six hundred and seventeen glass fragments, only half of which were diagnostic. Most came from not-stratified fills of construction and have no secure context. The largest accumulation of glass fragments was excavated in L110. The earliest vessels are generally attributed to the second century CE (Fig. 5: Nos. 1–5); the majority of the assemblage is dated from the third to the early fifth centuries CE (Figs. 5:6, 6:1–9, 7:1–6).
The corpus consists of blown domestic tableware, mainly bowls and beakers; none of vessels is preserved intact. The material is characterized by naturally colored glass, uniform manufacture methods and a wide range of similar types, which altogether indicate the presence of a local workshop. Small remains of some industrial activity, probably of glass (L110), and the discovery of very similar vessels at an adjacent site (Permit no. A–3925), support this proposal.
Strata III and II
A small group of thin-walled vessels came from these strata. Locus 126 yielded a number of colorless pieces, including a small bowl with a rounded rim (Fig. 5:1), a beaker with an unfinished rim (Fig. 5:2) and a small bottle with a triangular body, constricted at the junction with a neck (Fig. 5:3). Three additional fragments of bluish-green glass were found in L113. They belong to a bowl with a double fold on a horizontally splayed rim (Fig. 5:4), a bowl with a hollow ring base (Fig. 5:5) and a flask, whose body and base are decorated with tiny pinches (Fig. 5:6).
Analogies to Fig. 5:1–5 come mainly from second-century CE contexts, especially in the Judean Desert, but are also known from the north of the country. The fragment in Fig. 5:6 belongs to a rare type and is probably dated to the third century CE.
The largest number of fragments was recovered from a construction accumulation (L110). They include a series of bowls with a rounded rim (Fig. 6:1–9), beakers with a solid base (Fig. 7:1, 2) and various bottles (Fig. 7:3–6). These vessels are made of bluish green, colorless and yellowish (Fig. 7:3) glass and are dated to the third–early fifth centuries CE.
Bowls. The large shallow bowl (Fig. 6:1) with a small horizontal fold on the walls is exceptional in its size and form. Others are smaller and deeper, more resembling cups. The bowl in Fig. 6:2 has walls tapering downward and a double fold on the wall. The cylindrical bowls in Fig. 6:3, 4 are distinguished by a thickened rim that forms a kind of collar. These bowls had possibly a flattened base, like the bowl in Fig. 6:5. An unusual group is composed of bowls with a flaring rim and a trail wound below it (Fig. 6:6–9). Their thickened concave bases form a low solid ring underneath. This subtype is rare, since other comparisons from Israel, dating to the third–early fourth centuries CE, e.g., from Yehi‘am, Peqi‘in, Khirbat Shema, Nahariyya and Khirbat Ibreiktas, have plain concave bases.
Beakers. Two fragments (Fig. 7:1, 2) are the upper and lower parts of a beaker with a solid base. The type is often decorated with a horizontal trail below the rounded rim, as on Fig. 7:1. These vessels, dating to the fourth century CE, are well documented, especially in the Western Galille.
Bottles and Flasks. The fragments in Fig. 7:3, 4 are the upper parts of bottles with a tall neck and a funnel mouth. The bottle in Fig. 7:3 is distinguished by the yellowish tinge of glass and a constricted neck, representing the late third–fourth centuries CE. The spirally trailed fragment (Fig. 7:4) could also date later, to the fourth–early fifth centuries CE. The fragment in Fig. 7:5 is the small lower part of an elongated flask with a massive trail applied to its base. Series of such flasks found on the western foothills of Mount Carmel (Castra) were dated to the fourth–early fifth centuries CE (HA-ESI 109:27*). The fragment in Fig. 7:6 is a small base of a vessel, which stands on “toes”; only eight short “toes” of uneven shapes were preserved. Such bases are known both on open and closed vessels that are dated from the third to the fourth centuries CE, e.g., in ‘Akko, Nahariyya and Jalame.
The glass assemblage from H. Mesar is a small, but useful contribution to the data of glassware from the northern Sharon plain. The Late Roman types, represented mainly by open vessels, are dominant. They were apparently produced in a local workshop and most of them have analogies along the coastal plain of Israel, as well as in Samaria and the Western Galille.