Area A (Fig. 3)
Bodedas and Cupmarks (F2, F4, F5, F9). Four rock-hewn bodedas used to produce oil were found, on bedrock outcrops. Bodeda F2 (Fig. 4) included a rectangular surface (L116) and an elliptical basin (L117). Bodeda F4 (Fig. 5) consisted of a round surface (L124) with a cupmark in its center (L125) connected by a channel to a round basin (L126). Three rock-hewn cupmarks similar in diameter (diam. 0.1 m, L127–L129) were found just south of the bodeda. Two additional hewn cupmarks (L109, L110) in the same bedrock surface, 1 m apart, were c. 5 m southeast of the bodeda. Bodeda F5 (Fig. 6) included a square-shaped surface (L112) and a square-shaped basin (L113) with a deep central depression. Bodeda F9 (Fig. 7) consisted of a round surface (L102) with a round cupmark (L103) and a round basin (L104).
Quarry (F1; Fig. 4). A small quarry, (L115) showing chisel marks of the stones produced, was recorded.
Staircase (F8; Fig. 8). This rectangular rock-cutting (L120; depth 1.6 m) comprised two steps (width 0.65–0.75 m, height 0.25 m). A similar staircase leading to a tomb (F3; below) was found to its southwest. It is possible that the staircase at Site F8 was intended to lead to a tomb that was not completed.
Tomb and Water Cistern
(F3; Fig. 9). A hewn tomb subsequently adapted for use as a water cistern was exposed during an earlier excavation (Radashkovsky 2016b: Area C). Initially, a large tomb was hewn, which included a rectangular staircase (L123; Fig. 10) leading to an arched entrance opening into a burial cell (0.8 × 1.9 m, depth 0.9 m).
At some point, the burial chamber was widened and deepened, and converted into a cistern (L139). The cistern’s walls were straight and its floor flat, and they were treated with a layer of plaster (thickness 3–4 cm) mixed with ribbed pottery sherds and black sherds from the Ottoman period (Fig. 11). In some parts of the cistern only the plaster foundation made of various-sized stones was preserved. Non-diagnostic pottery sherds and modern-day debris were found in the cistern.
Winepresses and a Charcoal Kiln
(F6, F12). Winepress F6 consisted of a rock-hewn treading floor and a collecting vat (Fig. 12); the treading floor was exposed in an earlier excavation at the site (Radashkovsky 2016b: Area A).
The collecting vat (L118; 1.2 × 1.4 m) was treated with a layer of plaster mixed with sherds (thickness 2–4 cm). The vat floor was flat and paved in white mosaic (L101; size of tesserae
2 × 2 cm), set on a chalk bedding (L108; thickness c. 0.2 m). Two steps (L114) hewn in its southwestern corner descended to the floor of the vat. At some point, a subterranean cavity that extended north (L121; Fig. 13) was hewn from the floor of the vat, thereby negating the use of the winepress. Much ash and soot were discovered in Cavity 121, indicating that it probably was used as a charcoal kiln, in addition to modern debris. A study of one of the charcoal kilns in the area revealed that it was used in the Ottoman period (Baruch 2010:212). A pair of rock-cut elliptical cupmarks (F7; L131, L132) was c. 4 m east of the winepress’ treading floor.
Winepress F12 (Figs. 14, 15) included a treading floor (L122) and a collecting vat (L123), and several installations integrated into the winepress, all rock-hewn. The treading floor was partially preserved and exhibited signs of weathering. An installation that included a square surface (L143) and a basin (L144), connected by a channel, was exposed in the northern wall of the treading floor. An installation consisting of a surface (L142) and basin (L138) joined by a natural channel that had been enlarged was discovered in the eastern wall of the treading floor. The southern wall of the treading floor was damaged; a chiseled square surface (L135), possibly another installation, were observed to its south. On the collecting vat’s floor was a layer of hydraulic plaster partly covered with remains of white mosaic (size of tesserae 2 × 2 cm). Eventually, the mosaic was severed next to the western wall of the vat, perhaps intentionally. Niches (5 × 15 × 15 cm, 5 × 10 × 10 cm) were hewn in the southern and western walls of the collecting vat. A small cupmark (L145) in the bedrock surface next to the collecting vat’s western wall was connected by a channel to the vat.
Enclosure Wall and Wall
(F10, F11; Fig. 16). Enclosure Wall F10 (W130) was aligned northeast-southwest and dry-built utilizing various-sized fieldstones; it was poorly preserved. The wall apparently demarcated a cultivation plot. Wall F11 was constructed directly on the bedrock and may have enclosed a round agricultural installation (L136). Similar round installations surrounded by walls were exposed nearby, close to Tel Yarmut (Radashkovsky 2016a
Area B (Fig. 17)
Bodeda and Cupmark (F13, F14; Fig. 18). Bodeda F13 was hewn in a bedrock outcrop distant from the other installations. It included an irregularly shaped surface (L198) and a natural depression that was probably used to drain liquids (L199). A rock-hewn cupmark (L196) was c. 4 m northeast of the bodeda.
Winepresses (F17, F21, F24). Winepress F17 (Figs. 19, 20) included a partially preserved treading floor (L172) and a round collecting vat (L167) hewn in bedrock. Hewn in the center of the treading floor was a pit (L173) that probably functioned as a settling pit. Two cupmarks (L185, L186) were hewn alongside the collecting vat. A rock-cutting (L193) was noted next to the collecting vat and south of Cupmark 185.
Winepress F21 (Fig. 21) consisted of a square treading floor (L159) that descended to a circular collecting vat (L160), both hewn in the bedrock. Rock-cut installations were discovered around the winepress. At some point, the collecting vat was quarried and converted into a bell-shaped water cistern (min. depth 2.1 m); it was not excavated due to safety concerns. Slightly west of the winepress was a hewn bodeda used to produce oil that included a shallow irregularly shaped surface (L176) and a basin (L177) with a cupmark in its center (L178). Another rock-hewn installation consisting of a round basin (L179) and a cupmark (L180) connected by a channel was northwest of the bodeda.
Winepress 24 (Fig. 22), poorly preserved, included a treading floor (L162) that sloped to a collecting vat (L163), both rock-hewn. The collecting vat was a natural depression in the bedrock that was enlarged by quarrying.
(F15, F16, F20, F25–F29). Eight rock-hewn vertical shafts filled with alluvium, occurring in a variety of sizes, were discovered. Seven of the shafts (F15, F16, F20, F25–F27, F29) were round (Figs. 19, 23–27). They did not lead to a tomb or any sort of installation and their use is unclear. A large stone found in each of Shafts F25 and F26 was probably swept into them. Next to the northern wall of Shaft F26 was an elliptical rock-cutting filled with various-sized stones, probably deposited there because of erosion. Next to Shaft F29 was a small rectangular rock-cutting (L191), very likely the start of an installation or shaft. Shaft F28 was rectangular (Fig. 28) and was the only shaft that led to a burial cave (not excavated). A large stone (0.25 × 0.50 × 0.50 m) that sealed the entrance to the burial cave was discovered next to the shaft’s southern side. Similar shafts leading to Intermediate Bronze Age burial caves were previously discovered in the vicinity of the excavation (Paz and Radashkovsky 2016
Enclosure Walls (F18, F19, F22, F23). On the slope of a spur descending north were four enclosure walls, sections of which were excavated, that apparently delimited agricultural plots. Enclosure Wall F22 was the longest wall in the area (length 32 m, width 1 m, preserved height 0.45 m). It was built of a single row of medium-sized and large stones bonded with small stones and was preserved to a maximum height of two courses. The enclosure wall was built in a general north–south direction, turning to the west in the south. Enclosure Wall F18 (W168; Fig. 24), which was erected directly on bedrock in an east–west direction, was built of a single row of medium-sized and large stones bonded with small stones; it was preserved to a maximum height of two courses. Enclosure Wall F23 (W156; Fig. 29) was built of a single row of stones set on bedrock in a northwest–southeast direction and was preserved to a maximum height of three courses. Only three large stones were preserved of Enclosure Wall F19 (W175; Fig. l 24), apparently built in a general east–west direction.
Fragments of pottery vessels ranging in date from the Roman to the Ottoman periods were discovered in both of the excavation areas. These include a fragment of a cooking pot rim (Fig. 30:1) from the Roman period; fragments of a bowl (Fig. 30:2), a krater (Fig. 30:3) and jars (Fig. 30:4–6) from the Byzantine period; two fragments of Khirbat el-Mafjar jars (Fig. 30:7, 8), a handle decorated with brown-red stripes (Fig. 30:9) and a body fragment decorated with a geometric pattern painted brown, black and orange (Fig. 30:10) from the Early Islamic period; a bowl base decorated with a yellow stripe and green slip (Fig. 30:11) from the Crusader period; a jar fragment with a stamped impression on it (Fig. 30:12) from the Mamluk period; and two jar rims (Fig. 30:13, 14) from the Ottoman period. In addition, a bifacial hand axe attributed to the Acheulean culture was discovered on the surface (L150; Fig. 31).