Cistern (L103; Figs. 2, 3). The rock-hewn cistern was documented but not excavated, and only part of the bedrock surface that surrounded it was uncovered (depth from the bedrock surface to its bottom c. 4.5 m). It was located c. 5 m east of the agricultural terrace and had a square opening built of dressed fieldstones (0.6 m wide and high) above a low neck (height 1 m; Fig. 2, Section 2–2). The walls were treated with gray plaster, the composition and nature of which were not analyzed. The bedrock surface around the cistern was natural and no signs of rock-cutting were discerned. Mixed ceramic finds discovered in the alluvium that covered the bedrock included a bowl dating to the Hellenistic period (Fig. 4:1) and a Gaza Ware bowl from the Ottoman period (Fig. 4:8).
Terrace Wall and Field Wall. An excavation square was opened east of the remains of an agricultural terrace (W1) and on either side of a field wall (W2; Figs. 2, 3). The terrace wall was constructed of two rows of large fieldstones, aligned north–south (preserved length c. 25 m, 1–3 courses high), and was mainly set on the natural bedrock. In several spots where there were natural depressions in the bedrock, the wall was set on alluvium (Figs. 3, 5). The northern part of the wall (W1) was founded on alluvium that covered a quarry.
Three layers of soil were exposed slightly east of W1: a top layer, consisting of brown alluvium (L100, thickness 0.1–0.2 m); a middle layer of light colored rock-cutting debris (L102, L104, thickness 0.3–0.6 m) that came from the quarrying of the cistern nearby (L103); and a bottom layer of dark brown alluvium (L106, L07, thickness 0.1–0.2 m). These layers were exposed south and north of the field wall as well. The fill of the middle layer east of W1 and on either side of the wall to its east (W2) yielded ceramic finds dating to the Ottoman period (eighteenth century CE), including a cooking jug (Fig. 4:9) and a jar (Fig. 4:10) whose clay contained a small amount of orange inclusions, and a Gaza Ware jar (Fig. 4:12).
Field Wall 2, which was in the middle of the excavation square, was built of one row of two fieldstones (originally 4 m long) founded on quarrying debris. The wall was constructed perpendicular to W1 after the cistern was hewn; it was dismantled during the excavation and its function is unknown.
Quarry (c. 3.4–3.6 × 4.0 m; Figs. 2, 6). A single quarrying step (height 0.9 m) was exposed. No quarrying channels were revealed on the bottom of the quarry; however, a boulder with a severance channel around it in the west of the quarry made it possible to estimate the size of the stone blocks that were produced there (length c. 2 m, width c. 0.7 m, height c. 0.4 m). These blocks might have been subsequently divided into smaller stones. The cracked surface of the bedrock indicates that the quarrying there was apparently halted due to the poor quality of the rock.
Ceramic finds discovered in the alluvium covering the quarry (L101, L105, L108) included a jar from the Hellenistic period (Fig. 4:4), a jar from the Herodian period (Fig. 4:5), a fragment of a kerbschnitt vessel from the Early Islamic period (Fig. 4:6) and jars from the Mamluk (Fig. 4:7) and Ottoman (Gaza Ware jars [eighteenth century CE]; Fig. 4:11, 13, 14) periods.
Some 5 m north of this quarry was a smaller quarry (1.4 × 2.4 m) where blocks of stone were produced, one of them detached from the bedrock but in situ (c. length 1.1 m, width 0.5 m, height 0.4 m; Fig. 7). Ceramic finds from the Hellenistic period included jars (Fig. 4:2, 3), found in the alluvium that covered the quarry (L110).
The remains belonged to an agricultural settlement and reflect economic-agricultural activity that transpired in the area. The remains of the cistern and terrace date to the Ottoman period, based on the Gaza Ware discovered in the quarrying debris removed when the cistern was hewn. These remains probably belonged to nearby Beit Natif, and were part of recent activity in the hills around the village in the Ottoman period.
The quarrying remains are probably more ancient and may have been part of a farmstead or were connected to neighboring Khirbat Shumeila. They could also have been part of ancient Beit Natif, situated to the south (Dagan 2010:237–258). The discoveries are part of the settlement array whose buildings, agricultural terraces, burial caves, columbaria, winepresses and numerous installations of an agrarian nature are scattered across the spur.