A trial excavation was conducted in June 2002 north of Kh. et-Tira, near Moshav Bareket and parallel to Highway 4613 (Permit No. A-3664*; map ref. NIG 19463/65875; OIG 14463/15875) in the wake of a trench dug for communication lines. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and funded by the Public Works Department, was directed by Y. Zelinger, assisted by V. Essman and V. Pirsky (surveying and drafting).
During the digging of the trench two concentrations of dressed stones, c. 0.5 km apart, were discerned in its section. Two squares were opened (Fig. 1) and excavated to a depth of 1.6 m below surface, where a layer of sterile soil was exposed. The squares were located at the bottom of an ancient wadi that flowed from east to west, at the foot of the northern slope of Kh. et-Tira. Due to changes in the topography the wadi is no longer visible.
Square A (map ref. NIG 19465/65873; OIG 14465/15873) was the western of the two squares. A north–south oriented wall (width 0.8 m), whose center was damaged and cut by a backhoe when the trench was dug, was exposed over a length of 6.2 m. The northern face of the wall was built of large boulders (0.5 × 0.8 m). An accumulation of small stones and earth that was swept by water concentrated along the southern face of the wall. The ceramic finds near the wall were worn potsherds, mostly dating to the Hellenistic period.
Square B (map ref. NIG 19509/65890; OIG 14509/15890). Eroded remains of a wall, which precluded the determination of its length or width, were discovered. Its general north–south direction indicated that the two walls were built widthwise across the wadi channel and formed farming terraces, which were cultivated by the residents of the nearby Kh. et-Tira. The site had been surveyed in the past by R. Gophna and I. Beit Arieh (Map of Lod , Site 19) and potsherds collected dated to the Early Bronze Age, Iron Age II, as well as the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. It seems that the excavated walls were associated with the agricultural environs of the settlement from the Hellenistic period.