During November–December 2001 a salvage excavation was conducted at Kh. el Mizrath, east of Qibbuz Hanita (Permit No.
A-3378; map ref. NIG 21780–5/77650–5; OIG 16780–5/27650–5), in the wake of work carried out along the northern ceasefire-line border. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by M. Cohen (photography) and L. Porat, with the assistance of V. Essman and V. Pirsky (surveying and drafting), Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration) and laborers from Qiryat Shemona.
The site, on a hill east of Giv‘at Eder (c. 394 m above sea level), was recorded in the Archaeological Survey of Israel (Map of Hanita , Site 39.2).
At the top of the hill, part of a building that covered an area of c. 1,600 sq m (36 × 45 m) was exposed. It was surrounded by walls built of headers and stretchers (width 1.2–1.4 m). Walls of indigenous limestone founded on chalk bedrock were discovered inside the building, whose plan was that of a covered courtyard enclosed by rooms along the outer walls. The ceramic finds dated to the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods.
The character of the building and its strategic location suggest it was a fortress that was established very early in the Hellenistic period and continued in use during the Early Roman period. Another possibility is that the structure was a fortified farmhouse.