A trial excavation was conducted in October 1999 at the site of Bashshit in Moshav ‘Aseret (A-3126*; map ref. NIG 17626–46/63677–90; OIG 12626–46/13677–90), after ancient remains were damaged during work preceding the installation of a sewage pipe. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by T. Kanias, with the assistance of A. Hajian (surveying), R. Graff (drafting) and M. Saltzberger (photography).
Five squares were excavated along the sewer line, revealing building remains and ceramic finds from the Early Islamic period and the 12th–13th centuries CE.
Square A. A floor segment (length c. 1 m, thickness c. 0.2 m) that consisted of various-sized kurkar stones was discovered at a depth of c. 0.9 m below surface, as well as several pottery fragments from the Early Islamic period (Fig. 1:1) and a few animal bones.
Square B was located c. 50 m east of Sq A. Two construction levels were exposed (Fig. 2). Wall remains (W1; length 0.5 m, width c. 0.3 m), c. 0.5 m below surface, were attributed to the upper level. The wall was built of different-sized dressed kurkar blocks and preserved a single course high. The continuation of the wall was visible in the eastern section of the square. The lower level comprised an ash layer (L203, thickness 0.2 m) that was detected below the base of W1; it contained non-diagnostic pottery fragments. Below the ash layer was a plaster floor (L204) founded on a bed of small stones. Judging by the ceramic finds it appears that the two construction levels should be dated to the Early Islamic period.
Square C was located c. 20 m east of Sq B. Wall remains (W2; length 1.35 m; Fig. 3) that were constructed from two rows of rectangular, dressed kurkar blocks, with a core of small fieldstones, were uncovered; it was preserved to a maximum of two courses high. The continuation of the wall was visible in the eastern section of the square. An ash layer mixed with pottery fragments (L302), which may have been an occupation level, was discovered south of the wall. It overlaid different-sized stones (L303) that were probably the remains of a non-preserved floor bed. Loci 302 and 303 included numerous potsherds (Fig. 1:2–7), dating to the 12th–13th centuries CE, such as the foot of a clay box lined with chalk and decorated with a geometric pattern (Fig. 1:7). A similar find was revealed at Giv‘at Dani in the Ayyalon Valley (‘Atiqot 38:133*, Fig. 6:17). An occupation level (L304) to the north of W2, which was similar to L302, superposed the remains of a plaster floor (L305) and stone collapse in the northern and western sections of the square.
Square D was located c. 100 m southeast of Sq C. Remains of a plaster floor (thickness 0.1 m) were found atop a bedding of kurkar fieldstones. The floor was poorly preserved due to damage caused by mechanical equipment.
Square E was located c. 8 m south of Sq D. A meager wall, survived by two medium-sized, coarsely dressed kurkar blocks, was exposed in the western section of the square.