During April 2011, a salvage excavation was conducted at Lot 79 in the industrial zone of Modi‘in (Permit No. a-6165; map ref. 19670–5/647375–400), prior to development. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by P. Spivak, with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), A. Dagot (GPS), A. Peretz (field photography), and B. Antin (plans).
The circular limekiln was hewn in a layer of hard limestone (Fig. 2) and two levels were identified in it. The upper level (L2; diam. 2.5–3.5 m) was filled with limestone. A tunnel opening was observed in the bottom part of the kiln’s eastern side, leading outside the kiln pit. The tunnel’s exit was situated east of the kiln. The tunnel was not completely exposed. It was probably used as a vent, connected to the operation of the limekiln. Alternating layers of charcoal and white lime were identified on the lower level (L3; diam. 2.5 m). No small finds were recovered from the excavation of the kiln.
On a prominent bedrock surface next to the western side of the kiln was a very shallow rock-hewn elliptical basin (depth 10 cm) that drained via a channel toward the edge of the bedrock. A similar basin was discovered not far (HA-ESI 120
), in connection with a similar limekiln.
Kilns such as these were used to prepare lime from the indigenous limestone. Thanks to the raw material—limestone and fuel—wood from the nearby forests, small isolated limekilns were very common along the rocky hills of Modi‘in and its environs.