A cave from the Roman period and two quarries from the Roman and Byzantine periods were exposed at Site 105; a quarry, a cave and a lime kiln from the Roman and Byzantine periods at Site 113; three quarries from the Roman and Byzantine periods and a modern terrace wall at Site 110.
was rock-hewn and evidence of crude quarrying was apparent in several places. It consisted of two chambers, eastern and western, separated by a partition wall (W6; length 3.1 m, width 0.8 m, preserved height 0.8 m; Figs. 2–4), which was built of nari
fieldstones, some of them dressed, directly on the floor of the cave. An opening (width 1 m) was set in the middle of the wall. A narrow corridor (length 1. 6 m, width 0.6 m) led to a rectangular entrance (width 0.7 m, height 0.8 m; Fig. 5) in the eastern side of the cave. The corridor sloped and had five hewn steps (max. height of each step 0.15 m). The ceiling of the cave was entirely preserved, and remains of a quarry were discovered above it. Mechanical equipment was used to remove the ceiling, due to the danger of collapse. The eastern chamber was square (4.3 × 4.3 m, height 1.4 m), and its floor was partially leveled, apparently conforming to the inclination of the chalk layers. A concentration of crushed pottery dating to the Roman period was discovered on the floor and next to W6. The western chamber was semi-circular (diam. 2.8 m, height 1.2 m) and the entrance to it was in W6. The floor was high in the western part of the chamber and sloped toward the east, conforming to the inclination of the chalk layers. The cave was sealed by light-brown alluvium and chalk stones that collapsed from its ceiling. The pottery that was recovered from both chambers dates to the Roman period (first–second centuries CE) and consists mainly of jars, bowls and cooking vessels, some of them similar to the Kefar H
ananya cooking wares (Adan-Bayewitz 1993
:88–109). The pottery included bowls of Kefar H
ananya Types 1A, 1B and 1E (Fig. 6:1–3 respectively); a carinated open cooking pot of Kefar H
ananya Type 3B (Fig. 6:4); a cooking pot that is different than those of Kefar H
ananya (Fig. 6:5); and closed cooking pots that resemble Kefar H
ananya Types 3B and 4A (Fig. 6:6–8). Two types of bag-shaped jars were found: jars with square everted neck and pointed rim, similar to Diez-Fernández’s Type T1.3 (Fig. 6:9), and jars with ridged neck and inner gutter on the rim, similar to Diez-Fernandez’s Type T1.5 (Fig. 6:10–12; Diez Fernández 1983). Type T1.3 (first century BCE to the second third of the first century CE) is earlier than Type T1.5 (first century to the beginning of the second century CE). It seems that the pottery was in use in 70–130 CE.
Quarries (I, II). Quarry I, west of the excavation, extended across a large area. Quarry II was partially exposed (1.5 × 5.0 m; Fig. 7); in the east it was destroyed when Highway 79 was paved, and in the west it continued beyond the limits of the excavation. Two or three quarrying steps were identified in the quarries. Detached stones and severance channels (width 5–9 cm), which were hewn around the stones, were clearly visible. The upper quarrying steps were hewn in the hard, fine quality nari, which was used to produce building stones of various sizes (Quarry I: 0.6–1.1 × 1.1–2.4 m, height 0.5–0.8 m; Quarry II: 0.6–1.0 × 1.1–1.4 m, height 0.3–0.5 m). Quarry II was covered with an accumulation of brown soil, small fieldstones and stone-masonry debris, which contained fragments of pottery from the Roman and Byzantine periods: Kefar Hananya Types 1B and 1D bowls (Fig. 8:1, 2); Late Roman Cypriot Red Slip bowls (Fig. 8:3–8) dating to 550–650 CE; a carinated open cooking pot, similar to Kefar Hananya Type 3B (Fig. 8:7); a casserole with horizontal handle (Fig. 8:8); a round closed cooking pot (Fig. 8:9) dating to the Byzantine period; bag-shaped jars with ridged neck (Fig. 8:10–12) similar to Diez-Fernández’s Type T1.5 and dating to the Roman period; and a Yassi Ada style amphora (Fig. 8:13), which dates to the Byzantine period.
Quarry. Part of a quarry (5 × 5 m; Figs. 9, 10) whose northern part was damaged by the construction of Highway 79 was excavated. Marks of detached stones were clearly visible (0.4–0.5 × 0.8–1.4 m, height 0.4–0.5 m). In the southeastern corner were quarrying marks of two irregularly shaped boulders, surrounded by the distinct remains of severance channels (width c. 5 c, height 0.11–0.30 m; Fig. 11). The area in the center of the quarry was fully exploited, and remains of five steps were clearly identified. Once the quarry went out of use, it was covered by accumulated brown soil which contained several pottery sherds from the Roman and Byzantine periods.
Cave. Under the layer of hard nari (0.7 m) was an irregularly shaped cave, which was hewn in soft chalk (2.7 × 4.2 m, height 1.2 m); the entrance to it was in the north (height 0.9 m, width 1.5 m; Fig. 12). The cave was partially closed by a chalk boulder and by white marl containing a few body fragments of ribbed pottery vessels from the Byzantine period. It seems that the chalk was used as raw material for the production of lime.
Lime Kiln. Next to the quarry, a circular lime kiln (diam. 4 m, depth 4 m; Figs. 13, 14) was hewn in the nari; its northern part was damaged by the construction of Highway 79. The floor of the kiln was the leveled chalk rock, and next to the wall a step (width 0.35 m, height 0.15–0.30 m) was hewn in it. The step served as the foundation for the wall’s inner face, which was constructed of fieldstones. On the floor was a layer of ash and fieldstones, which apparently collapsed from this wall. This layer contained no datable finds. The kiln was presumably active at the same time as the quarries, and apparently its activity was resumed in the Ottoman period.
Quarries (I–III; Fig. 15). The central area of the quarries was fully exploited, and the quarrying steps were clearly visible. Quarry I was large (7 × 10 m, depth 2.5 m; Fig. 16), and five levels of rock-cuttings were identified in it. Quarry II (3 × 10 m, depth 1.5 m; Fig. 17) was partially exposed, and three levels of rock-cuttings, which left steps along its eastern and western edges were identified. Quarry III was large (9 × 14 m, depth 4.7 m; Fig. 18) and its northern part was damaged by the construction of Highway 79. Remains of nine levels of rock-cuttings, which left quarrying steps in its center, were identified. Marks of quarrying and of stones being detached (0.4–0.8 × 0.9–1.5 m, 0.5–0.8 × 0.8–1.2 m, height 0.3–0.5 m) are clearly visible in the quarries, as well as severance channels (width 0.05–0.15 m, depth 0.25–0.50 m; Fig. 19) that were hewn around each stone. The chalk beneath the layer of nari was not suitable for building stones, and quarrying therefore stopped when the masons reached it. After the quarries were no longer in use, they were sealed with a layer of stone-masonry debris and brown soil, which contained several sherds from the Roman and Byzantine periods.
Terrace Wall. A fieldstones wall (length c. 100 m, max. preserved height 1 m) was constructed directly on the rock, above the southern part of the three quarries. The wall was apparently built in the Ottoman period or the modern era.
The excavation results indicate that the agricultural hinterland of the large nearby villages, Ofrat and Shefar‘am, extended across the three hills. A cave dwelling was discovered in Site 105, and judging by the pottery that were found in it, the cave was used in 70–130 CE. Quarries were exposed in all three sites, and all clearly show marks of building-stones being quarried in the same method, of hewing severance channels around the stones. It seems that the masons preferred the strata of nari, which is suitable for quality construction, and when they reached the soft chalk they stopped and moved to a new location. This is probably the reason behind the extensive distribution of the quarries in the three sites. The meager pottery finds date the quarries to the Roman and Byzantine periods (third–sixth centuries CE). In Site 113, a lime kiln was exposed, and a cave which was the source for the raw material for the lime industry. The absence of datable finds makes it difficult to determine their date.