An area of 35 sq m was opened and four strata were identified (Fig. 2):
Stratum IV is a layer of sterile soil devoid of finds.
Stratum III is a layer of uniform brown hamra with architectural finds (L106, L109), which was used as fill prior to the construction of a massive building. A wall segment from the building, which was preserved two courses high (W10; 1.2×4.0 m, height 0.33 m), was exposed in the middle of the excavated area. It was aligned northeast–southwest and built of rows of undressed kurkar stones and a little mortar. South of it was a section of another wall (W11; 1.3×1.9 m, height 0.34 m), oriented north–south and preserved two courses high. It too was built of rows of undressed kurkar stones and some mortar, and formed a corner with W10 (Fig. 3). A partially preserved floor (L105, L110) of well-dressed kurkar flagstones (0.25×0.50×0.06 m) abutted the northern side of the western end of W10. Like Walls 10 and 11, it was founded on a level of sterile sand. Pottery found on the floor of the building included fragments of carinated bowls (Fig. 4:9, 10), a juglet (Fig. 4:11) and a jar with a thickened rim on the outside and depressed beneath it (Fig. 4:12) which are dated to Iron Age IIA.
Stratum II is a layer of light colored hamra mixed with sand (L104). A burial jar from the Ottoman period, aligned east–west and partly surrounded by medium-sized kurkar stones, was exposed in situ, close to the center of the excavated area, c. 2 m south of the northern balk. A cist grave (L103; length c. 1.5 m, width unknown; not excavated), aligned northeast-southwest and built of dressed kurkar stones, was partly exposed north of the jar, beneath the northern balk of the excavated area. Both the grave and the jar are later disturbances that postdated Stratum II.
Stratum I is the surface level, which was composed of sandy soil (max. thickness 1.5 m) mixed with modern refuse and several fragments of pottery vessels.
Pottery ascribed to Iron Age IIB and IIC was discovered in Strata I and II, including fragments of bowls with straight or carinated sides (Fig. 4:1–4), some bear traces of a red slip (Fig. 4:5) and some are burnished (Fig. 4:6) and jars with a short neck (Fig. 4:7, 8).
Massive foundations of a building dating to the ninth century BCE were exposed in the excavation. It served as an observation point that looked out over the surrounding region: Tel Mor, Tel Ashdod, ‘Ad Halom and the beach to the west. Nahal Lakhish empties into the sea at the foot of the hill. These factors indicate the strategic importance of Mizpe Yona in the ninth century BCE.