During December 2009, a salvage excavation was conducted at 10 Sokolov Street in Azor (Permit No. A-5790; map ref. 181845–49/658961–65), prior to construction (Fig. 1). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by L. Sagi, was directed by F. Volynsky, with the assistance of S. Ya‘aqov-Jam (administration), A. Hajian (surveying and drafting), A. Peretz (field photography), A. Buchennino (preliminary inspections), M. Shuiskaya (drawing of finds), L. Kupershmidt (metallurgical laboratory) and D.T. Ariel (numismatics). Special thanks are extended to M. Ajami, D. Barkan, L. Rauchberger and M. Mulokandov.
A shallow refuse pit (depth c. 0.5 m) dug into the natural soil (L101; Fig. 2) was discovered in the southern third of the area. It contained ash, small fieldstones, a coin dating to the years 697–750 CE from the mint of Ramla (IAA 135789), a steatite vessel (Fig. 3:4) dating to the eighth–tenth centuries CE, numerous potsherds from the Early Islamic period, including fragments of a cup (Fig. 3:2) and jar (Fig. 3:3) dating to the ninth–tenth centuries CE, a coin of Constantius II dating to the years 351–354 CE from the mint of Cyzicus (IAA 135788) and fragments of a krater from the Hellenistic or Roman periods (Fig. 3:1). The pit was dated to the Early Islamic period, based on the latest ceramic artifacts it contained.
A tomb (L102) was exposed in the middle of the area; it was covered with dressed stone slabs (0.15
× 0.30 m) and oriented east–west. Two medium-sized fieldstones that may have been part of a gravestone were revealed in its eastern part, next to the eastern covering slab. The tomb could not be dated due to the absence of ceramic finds. The tomb was probably part of a more extensive necropolis, located c. 120 to the west (HA-ESI 118). The tomb was opened but not excavated, following an agreement with ultra-Orthodox factions.
The excavation finds supplement the information regarding the nature of the settlement from the Early Islamic period to the southeast of Tel Azor.