A few, mostly worn potsherds were found, as well as a sandstone pebble that is not indigenous to the region.
Flint Mining. The earliest remains belong to a phenomenon of mining flint nodules from the nari bedrock that covers the qirton. Several places were identified in the southern part of the area where flint nodules stick out from the nari bedrock (Fig. 2), and next to them, and on the slope descending north toward the northern channel, were depressions and holes that are indicative of mining. This phenomenon is known from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (Grosman L. and Goren-Inbar N. 2007. “Taming” Rocks and Changing Landscapes. Current Anthropology 48/5:732–740). Although no flint tools from this period were identified in the excavation area, Neolithic implements were found on the southeastern slopes of nearby Khirbat Ras et-Tawil (Gibson S. 1982. Jerusalem [North East], Archaeological Survey. IEJ 32:156–157).
Winepresses. Three rock-hewn winepresses were exposed.
Winepress 101 (Figs. 3, 4) was hewn in a steep bedrock surface and consisted of a pentagonal treading floor and a rectangular collecting vat. A hewn vertical depression (width 0.25 m, height 0.5 m) on the southwestern side of the treading floor was used to secure a press beam at a slight angle; at the bottom of the depression were two horizontal mortises (depth 7 cm). The angle at which the vertical depression was hewn enabled the beam to reach the center of the treading floor. Four round depressions (depth 0.10–0.15 m) were discerned on three sides of the treading floor; these may have been meant for posts that supported a hut above the press. It is assumed that the winepress, based on its style, was hewn in the Iron Age (ninth–sixth centuries BCE).
Winepress 132 (Fig. 5) is small and hewn in a jagged bedrock surface that descends rather gently toward the northeast. The treading floor was trapezoidal (0.8 × 1.0 m) and sloped northward to a circular collecting vat (depth 0.2 m). A narrow channel (length 0.3 m) connected the treading floor to the collecting vat. It seems that a natural depression in the bedrock was utilized for the collecting vat. The winepress was clean of alluvium and devoid of any finds that might assist in dating it.
Winepress 143 (Fig. 6) was hewn in a bedrock surface that descends toward the north. The winepress was extremely shallow (depth 1–2 cm below surface). The treading floor was pentagonal and sloped to the north, toward a rather large oval/rectangular collecting vat (0.9 × 1.3 m, depth 0.55 m) whose bottom was not straight and seemed to be a natural hollow in bedrock. A large fissure crosses the vat and the treading floor was also cracked and broken in several places. Five cupmarks, four rather large (diam. and depth c. 0.3 m) and one smaller, were exposed on three sides of the winepress. It seems that the location of the cupmarks indicates they were meant for posts that supported a hut above the winepress.No potsherds or other finds that could aid in dating the winepress were discovered.
Ancient Road (Figs. 7, 8). An ancient road was identified in the northern part of the excavation area; it descends from the southwest to the northeast, along the southern side of the broad gentle channel that slopes east toward Wadi Ibn-‘Id. The route of the road was quite apparent for a distance of several dozen meters, yet its upper western and lower eastern parts were eroded. The road (inner width 3.8 m) was delimited between two stone walls (height c. 0.8 m) built on top of soil and gravel fill. The road surface was fill composed of small and medium fieldstones, which was apparently covered with tamped soil fill. No potsherds were found in a probe excavated across the road and therefore, it is not possible to date it with certainty.
The road is alluded to as a regional route that connected the ancient village of Hizma with Jerusalem; it is dated, based on potsherds collected in a survey and an analysis of the settlement distribution in the region, to the Roman–Byzantine periods (Gibson S. and Edelstein G. 1985. Investigating Jerusalem's Rural Landscape. Levant 17:139–155). A junction of two ancient roads is described in the Survey of Jerusalem at the bottom of the channel, west of Wadi Ibn-‘Id (Kloner A. 2001. Survey of Jerusalem, The Northern Sector, Site 100); one of roads is the one exposed in the current excavation. The intersection of the two roads was probably swept away in the channel.
Building 114 (Fig. 9), located west of Winepress 101, was poorly preserved. Remains of walls, built of large fieldstones placed directly on top of bedrock and preserved a single course high, were discerned. The structure descended steeply to the east following the natural slope of the bedrock. A concentration of extremely worn potsherds that dated to the Second Temple period was discovered in a bedrock recess, c. 0.2 m deep in the building’s northeastern corner, below the base of the walls. Apart from these, no other potsherds were found in the excavation of the building and the cleaning of the bedrock surface. The plan of the building is unclear; however, a proposed reconstruction includes an irregular-shaped room (c. 3 × 4 m) with a courtyard to its west. Dating the building is difficult; it was only ascertained that it postdated the Second Temple period (first century CE).
Building 139 was a small room (c. 3 × 3 m) whose eastern wall was not preserved. The other walls, preserved one–two courses high, were built of large fieldstones on top of bedrock. No potsherds were found and the structure could not be dated.
Limekiln. The limekiln was first documented in the Survey of Jerusalem (Survey of Jerusalem, The Northeastern Sector, Site 98). This very large kiln (outer diam. 8 m, depth 4 m; Figs. 10, 11) was partly hewn in the bedrock and its upper part was built. The stokehole included a built tunnel (length 3 m, height c. 0.8 m) in the northern side. To direct the western wind into the wind tunnel, a perpendicular wall seems to have been built east of the tunnel’s opening. The limekiln was very well preserved, although the quality of its wall construction was quite poor. The fill inside the kiln was mixed with completely modern material and no potsherds were discovered inside or in its vicinity.
The large dimensions of this kiln are exceptional when compared with the kilns found in the region (Gibson S. 1984. Lime Kilns in North East Jerusalem. PEQ 116:94–102). The location of the stokehole in the northern side is unusual, as it is customarily situated in the western side of kilns (Sion O. and Sasson A. 2003. The Lime Industry in the Shephelah and Samaria. Judea and Samaria Studies XII:195–206). Despite these irregularities, the shape and construction of the kiln are consistent with the characteristics of Ottoman kilns (Sion and Sasson 2003); hence, it can be assumed that it was built in this period.
Cistern. A cistern with a modern concrete capstone built on its opening was identified at the bottom of the northern channel. The cistern was filled with water and therefore, not checked; however, it was possible to discern two connected cavities inside it. No remains of plaster could be seen on the upper part of the cistern and it seems that this was the back of the natural bedrock, which was covered with large rocks and stones, so as to form a ceiling meant to prevent the water from evaporating. Field walls that probably served to divide the area into cultivation plots were exposed around the cistern. A few worn potsherds that mostly dated to the time of the Second Temple (first century BCE–first century CE) were found in the fill adjacent to these walls.
Field Walls and Terraces. Probes were excavated on both sides of field walls and terraces, down to the level of bedrock, to examine them. The walls were built of various size unworked fieldstones and the quality of their construction was poor. In most instances, no potsherds were found in the soil fill, apart from a few that were very worn and dated mainly to Iron Age II–III (ninth–seventh centuries BCE) and the Second Temple period (second century BCE–first century CE).
The area examined in the excavation is an agricultural region that was probably cultivated by the surrounding settlements: Khirbat Ka‘kul and Ras Abu-Ma‘ruf to the southwest, ancient Anatoth to the southeast, Ras et-Tawil to the northwest and Nahal Zimra to the west. The exposed installations indicate that the land on the steep and rocky slopes was also used, probably for growing grapes and wine production. Based on the meager ceramic finds, it seems that the area was mostly used in Iron Age II–III (ninth–sixth centuries BCE), the Second Temple period (first century BCE–first century CE) and the Byzantine period (fourth–seventh centuries CE). These periods are well represented in the above sites and in other excavations that had taken place in the Pisgat Ze’ev quarter, up to a distance of several hundred meters from the current excavation area.