During January–February 2004, a salvage excavation was conducted at Tell Qasile West (Permit No. A-4086; map ref. NIG 180395–456/667640–697; OIG 130395–456/167640–697), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Africa-Israel Company, which rendered much help during fieldwork, was directed by A. Glick, with the assistance of S. Ya‘aqov-Jam and E. Bachar (administration), V. Essman (surveying), T. Sagiv (field photography) and E. Yannai, E. Ayalon and E. Ayash (consultation).
The site is located c. 400 m west of Tell Qasile, on a kurkar ridge that is covered with dark brown alluvium. A building that stood on the site and dated to the Ottoman period was demolished prior to the excavation.
Seven squares were opened where building remains that may have dated to the Byzantine period and quarries were exposed.
Two perpendicular walls (W2, W3; Fig. 1), built of small stones (up to 0.1 m long) and lined on both sides with probably Byzantine body potsherds whose ribbed side was facing out, were exposed. Analogies for this construction method were not found. The proximity of the walls to the surface and later damage made it difficult to determine their dimensions. They probably served as foundations of a building or as an installation (c. 4.0 × 5.8 m; max. preservation height 0.19 m), whose plan and purpose are unclear. A number of small plaster spots near the walls indicate that parts of the installation or building were probably coated with plaster.
A concrete rectangle, which may be the foundation of another wall that adjoined W2, was exposed c. 0.2 m west of W2. Jar fragments that dated to the Byzantine period were found below the presumed floor level in the corner formed by W2 and W3, which was not preserved. A quarry that did not postdate the Byzantine period was discovered below and north of W2.
An east–west oriented wall (W1; Fig. 2) was discovered in the western part of the area. It was built of medium-sized stones (length 0.2 m), with orange mortar and layers of lime between the two courses. The construction method and the pottery fragments near the wall indicate that it was built in the eighteenth–nineteenth centuries CE. A quarry that probably dated to the Hellenistic period, based on the potsherds it contained, was discovered beneath the wall.
A cave (depth 2 m) was located in the northern part of the area and nearby was a modern well, not completely excavated due to safety precautions. Six pits, probably modern, were revealed and sixteen other points, thought to be ancient, were examined and found devoid of any remains.