During January 2012, a trial excavation was conducted between Brenner and Varda Lerner Streets in ‘Afula (Permit No. A-6396; map ref. 227528/723804), prior to construction. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by E. Amos (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Lavan (administration), R. Mishayev (surveying), W. Atrash (scientific guidance), H. Tahan-Rosen (pottery drawing) and laborers from Kafr Manda.
Two squares were opened and a rectangular installation (L6; 1.85 × 1.90 m, depth 1 m; Fig. 1) was uncovered. Three steps that led to the floor were built in the eastern side (Fig. 2). The floor of the installation, its walls and steps were coated with a thick layer of hydraulic plaster (3–4 cm) mixed with potsherds from the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods. The walls of the installation were built inside a pit that was dug in orange-colored soil, which covered the eastern, northern and western parts of the area (L2). The northern side of the installation severed a pit (L4; depth c. 0.7 m; Fig. 3), filled with gray soil and pottery fragments, including a jar (Fig. 4:1), a holemouth jar (Fig. 4:2) and a flat base of a jar decorated with band-slip painting (Fig. 4:3), all dating to Early Bronze Age IB (3,300–3,000 BCE).
The installation was filled with alluvium and fieldstones that reached the top of its walls, containing potsherds from many periods, including a fragment of a folded handle (Fig. 4:4) from the Intermediate Bronze Age (2,000–1,800 BCE); cooking pots (Fig. 4:5–8) and a jar (Fig. 4:9) from the Roman period (first–second centuries CE); a cooking pot lid (Fig. 4:10) and a jar (Fig. 4:11) from the Byzantine–Early Islamic periods (sixth–seventh centuries CE) and a brown glazed slip painted jar (Fig. 4:12) of the Mamluk period (fourteenth–fifteenth centuries CE).