During May 2001 a trial excavation was conducted on Tell Jatt (Permit No. A-3424*; map ref. NIG 204481–503/700514–536; OIG 154481–503/200514–536), following the discovery of ancient remains. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by ‘A. el-Kader ‘Isa Shamiya, was directed by E. ‘Awawdy, with the assistance of A. Hajian (surveying) and S. Ya‘aqov-Jam (administration).
The excavation was located along a terraced spur, descending from southeast to northwest (10 × 15 m), in the eastern part of the Jatt village, which is apparently the eastern fringes of Tell Jatt, based on previous excavations and surveys (‘Atiqot 37:1–78).
A shallow stone quarry and a winepress were exposed (Fig. 1). At the northern end of the quarry (L10), three irregular stone masses (0.2 × 0.2 × 0.5 m) indicated their dressing was incomplete.
The winepress consisted of a treading floor and a collecting vat. The treading floor (L60) had survived by its foundation and a few sections of a coarse mosaic pavement. The floor sloped toward a channel in its northern part that connected the floor to the collecting vat. It seems that the western wall of the treading floor was originally built, but did not survive. The rectilinear collecting vat (L50; 1.5 × 1.7 m, depth 1.2 m) was hewn in limestone bedrock and had a sump (L51; diam. 0.4 m, depth 0.36 m) in its floor. It contained ribbed potsherds characteristic of the Byzantine period.
East of Collecting Vat 50 was a section of another bedrock-hewn and plastered collecting vat (L80), linked to the former by way of a hewn opening (diam. 0.1 m). The eastern part of the winepress was not exposed as it lay beyond the limits of the excavation.
The alluvium fill inside the quarry contained potsherds that do not enable its dating.
The winepress points to agricultural activity and wine production in antiquity, in the region.