The building (Figs. 2, 3) was erected on a rock surface that was surrounded nearly completely by agricultural terraces. A dry-construction terrace wall (W1000), built of different size rubble-stones, was documented in the northwest part of the compound. This is a common and important architectural feature in the mountainous rural landscape, whose purpose was to prevent the erosion of soil surrounding the compound (Kroynaker 1991
:39). A circular pit (L25) filled with small stones, ash and lime was revealed near the southeastern corner of the terrace; it may have been a domestic lime kiln, which produced lime for routine maintenance of the structure.
The building, which was only partially excavated, sufferred extensive damage after 1948, and was very poorly preserved. Its walls were built of dressed stones and plastered, the floor was ‘meda’
type rammed earth floor, consisting of a mixture of soil and mortar (Kroynaker 1991:408). The building had three rooms that were identical in size (5 × 5 m). Its outer walls, apart from W1002, were severely damaged and could only be identified in the collapse, yet made it possible to determine the exact dimensions and the construction method. Wall 1002 was incorporated in the cliff. It was constructed as a single architectural unit that was divided into three equal parts to form dwelling units. Square niches were built into the entire length of the wall in each of the three rooms. Two niches (L16, L22; Fig. 4) were preserved in the northwestern room (Room I). No finds were discovered in them, yet their size and location indicate that they were probably used for storage of household utensils (Kroynaker 1991:406).
Room I, which was almost completely destroyed and was not entirely excavated, contained numerous stones that were probably part of the collapsed walls. The northwestern wall (W1001) was the outer wall of the structure, and connected W1002 in the northeast with the remains of W1005, whose corner was completely destroyed, in the southwest. Wall 1007 in the southeast served as a partition between Rooms I and II, and was built of dressed stones in a range of sizes (0.08 × 0.11 m, 0.25 × 0.30 m). Some of the stones were exposed and some were plastered and painted green.
Room II, in the middle, was relatively well-preserved, and was completely excavated (Fig. 5). Its dimensions were identical to the other rooms and it was entered from the southwest by way of a threshold step (W1010). A square pool (L26) that contained the remains of a drainage channel (diameter 0.03 m) was exposed next to the threshold and parallel to it. The floor of the pool, like the floor of the room (L20), consisted of a waterproof ‘meda’ layer.
Remains of a wall (W1004) built of stones in a range of sizes were identified southeast of the pool. Its northwestern end was integrated with the pool and the threshold step, evidence to the construction of a planned entrance to the building. The southeastern end of the wall joined the lateral Wall 1003, which partitioned off Room III, and was constructed, like the other walls, of stones in a range of sizes that were subsequently plastered. Wall 1003 was best preserved near W1002, where it survived to a maximum height of six courses, with traces of a plaster layer on its lower part.
Room III was extensively damaged and its walls were only partially identified. The entrance to it, like that of Room II, was from the southwest, between W1006 and W1009. Its floor (L24) was similar to the floor in Room II and was set directly on the bedrock (L27).
The finds in the building included household utensils, tools and motorized machine parts, glassware, jewelry and more. There were utensils for preparing and consuming food. A deep aluminum bowl and a flat enamel bowl (Fig. 6) were found in Room I (L13); there were a fork and a spoon with wooden handles, and two teapots, one enameled and the other made of iron and bronze alloy (Fig. 7); a large iron spoon (Fig. 8) with a square handle that had three thickened ‘joints’ and a shallow bowl, was probably used for roasting coffee.
The tools consisted of metal parts of an axe and a hoe. The glassware included various types of bottles in various sizes (Figs. 9:1–3; 10). The jewelry included a brass bracelet (Fig. 9:4) that would fit a thin wrist and a plastic bead (Fig. 9:5). Among the other artifacts discovered in the excavation was a pear-shaped wooden handle, which decorated the leg of a bed (Fig. 9:6), a cigarette holder, a metal spear (Fig. 11) that was found on the floor of Room II (L20) and buttons from a garment. The finds from the excavation and the architectural characteristics make it possible to date the activity in the building to the Ottoman period and the British Mandate.
A poorly preserved building consisting of three identical rooms was documented. The walls were built as a single unit, from dressed stones of different sizes. The doorways of two rooms (II and III) were located in the south. It seems that the remaining room had a separate entrance, because there was no evidence of openings or passages between the units.