A salvage excavation was conducted in December 1998 north of Sansanna (L-829; map ref. NIG 19075/58565; OIG 14075/08565) prior to enlarging the settlement. The excavation, on behalf of the Archaeological Staff Officer of Judea and Samaria, was directed by Y. Feller, assisted by P. Portnov (surveying and drafting) and S. Ammami (photography).
A building dating to Iron Age III and two rock-cut winepresses (1, 2) from the Byzantine period were excavated on a spur that descended westward. They may be connected to the settlement at Khirbat Sansanna, located c. 1 km to the south.
(4.9 × 5.6 m; Fig. 1) was located on a concealed dome along the spur. It was built of different-sized fieldstones and was preserved to a maximum of four courses high. A beaten-earth floor mixed with small stones was deposited atop bedrock. The building’s northern (W1; width 0.9 m) and western walls (W2; width 0.6–0.8 m) were constructed from two rows of stones, whereas the southern (W3) and eastern (W4) walls were built of a single row of stones (max. width 0.5 m). It is unclear where the entrance to the building was located. Two interior walls (W5, W6) partitioned the building into three rooms, a large room in the west (2 × 4 m) and two smaller rooms in the east (1.05 × 1.46 m, 1.1 × 1.5 m). Several fragments of pottery vessels from Iron Age III were discovered in the building.
. Winepress 1 (Fig. 2) was c.
100 m southwest of the building, on the northern slope of the spur. It consisted of a square treading surface (2.84 × 3.18 m) and a rectangular collecting vat (1.1 × 2.4 m, depth 1.15 m) to its north, which had traces of plaster and a rock-cut step (0.35 × 0.55 m, height 0.4 m) in its northeastern corner. Walls built of large fieldstones (max. length 1.3 m) and preserved a single course high were constructed above the hewn walls of the treading surface. A few pottery fragments from the Byzantine period were recovered
from the winepress.
Winepress 2 (Fig. 3) was located c. 50 m northwest of the building. It consisted of a square treading surface (2.15 × 2.35 m, depth 0.2 m) and a rectangular collecting vat (0.7 × 1.6 m, depth 0.48 m) to its west. Walls built of medium-sized fieldstones (max. length 0.5 m) that were preserved to a maximum of two courses high (0.7 m) superposed the northern, western and eastern walls of the treading surface. The winepress yielded several pottery fragments from the Byzantine period. A wall (length 3.9 m) was exposed c. 1.2 m north of the winepress; it was built of medium-sized fieldstones, oriented east– west and preserved to a maximum of two courses high (0.65 m). Fragments of pottery vessels dating to the Mamluk period were found near the wall.