A trial excavation was conducted in August 1999 at Jatt (A-3099*; map ref. NIG 20444–52/70045–51; OIG 15444–52/20045–51), after ancient remains were damaged during the course of development work prior to construction. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by K. Sa‘id, with the assistance of V. Essman (surveying), R. Graff (drafting), T. Sagiv (photography), M. Rappaport (pottery drawings), Y. Gorin-Rosen (glass vessels) and A. Pikovsky (glass drawings).
The excavation area (5.0 × 5.5 m) was located on the northeastern slope of Tel Gat. The remains of a wall (preserved length 3 m), built of medium-sized fieldstones (0.4 × 0.6 × 0.6 m) and founded on bedrock, were exposed. It may have been an agricultural terrace, which was preserved one–three courses high. South of the wall and at a slightly higher elevation, was a layer of soil (thickness 1 m) that contained several fragments of pottery vessels from the Byzantine period. A collapse layer (thickness 0.85 m) to the north of the wall consisted of fieldstones and numerous fragments of pottery and glass vessels dating to the Byzantine period; the fieldstones seem to have been part of a building that was destroyed. A layer of soil (thickness 1.75 m) was discovered below the collapse layer, yielding numerous potsherds and fragments of glass vessels from the Byzantine period. The ceramic finds included fragments from cooking pots (Fig. 1:1), jars (Fig. 1:2), stoppers (Fig. 1:3, 4) and five Late Samarian lamps, adorned with geometric decorations (Fig. 1:5–9), as well as the lower part of a stone mold for lamps (Fig. 1:10). The excavation remains were probably part of the settlement remains from the Byzantine period at Tel Gat.
The Glass Finds
Numerous fragments (c. 218) of glass vessels were recovered from the excavation, 134 of them were body fragments. The glass assemblage is well known in the country throughout the Byzantine period and includes bowls with outfolded, hollow rims and hollow base-rings, bottles with rounded rims and incurved rims, including one bottle decorated with a single trail below the rim, low concave amphoriskos bases, a jar with incurved flattened rim, a wine goblet with a hollow base-ring, a kohl double bottle and three fragments of different mold-blown vessels. Furthermore, a rare glass goblet (Fig. 2) was found, having a complete base and several rim and body fragments. This is a large goblet with a tall stem that is made of olive-green glass covered with black pitting. The rim is thickened and flared and the stem is fashioned irregularly and has toolings marks. The goblet is unique within the assemblage of glass vessels at the excavation and differs in its fabric and weathering.
In addition to the glass vessel fragments, glass industrial remains were uncovered. The most important item is a large lump of greenish-blue raw glass (length 0.22 m; Fig. 3); its upper part is flat and the lower section was broken naturally. This is a raw glass ‘bolus’ that was probably brought to the site for fusing in a kiln, to produce glass vessels. The flat and smooth upper part of the raw lump indicates it was probably placed at the top of a glass kiln. Other than the large glass lump, several small lumps and a fragment that was deformed by the heat were recorded.
Based on the amount of glass artifacts in the excavation and compared with finds elsewhere, it seems apparent that a glass workshop existed at the site.