Eshta’ol–Nahal Kesalon (Fig. 2)
1. Signs of rock-cuttings (0.4×1.0 m, height 0.25 m; Fig. 8), mostly covered by weeds.
2. Signs of shallow rock-cuttings, c. 5 m southeast of Site 1.
3. Remains of a building, a hump on the surface (radius c. 6–7 m) that is probably the ruins of a modern building. Pieces of concrete are scattered in the vicinity.
4. Installation consisting of a bedrock-hewn round basin (diam. 0.5 m; Fig. 9), which contained an accumulation of alluvium and weeds.
5. Installation (?); signs of shallow rock-cuttings on a surface (0.7×1.0 m; Fig. 10).
6. An elliptical installation hewn in bedrock (length c. 1.2 m; Fig. 11), mostly covered with vegetation.
7. A simple winepress, consisting of a hewn treading floor (2.8×3.5, depth c. 0.3–0.4 m; Fig. 12) and a collecting vat that is apparently rectangular and covered with vegetation. A field wall built of fieldstones, some of which are partially dressed, was identified next to the winepress.
8. A rock-cut rectangular installation or quarry (1.5×2.0 m; Fig. 13), probably part of a winepress’ treading floor.
9. The opening of a burial cave that has a rock-cut façade (Fig. 14). A fig tree growing from the inside the cave opening and vegetation in front of it make it difficult to evaluate its characteristics. Looking inside the cave, one can discern arched loculi that are characteristic of burial caves of the Second Temple period.
10. Quarry remains (length 1 m; Fig. 15).
11. A farming terrace or poorly preserved fence.
12. A section of a farming terrace on the northern bank of Nahal Kesalon. Installations are hewn on a bedrock surface east of the terrace (see below, Sites 13–15).
13. Two cupmarks (diam. 0.15 m, depth 0.1 m; Fig. 16), situated 0.4 m apart and hewn in a bedrock surface.
14. A rock-hewn round basin (diam. 0.6–0.7 m; Fig. 17) covered with alluvium and pine needles.
15. A rock-hewn round basin (diam. 0.6 m; Fig. 18).
16. A wall section that is mostly buried beneath the fill of a farming terrace; a large building stone (length 1.2 m, height c. 0.6 m; Fig. 19) was partially exposed below the fill.
17. Signs of localized rock-cuttings, hidden by weeds.
18. Meager remains of a farming terrace.
19. A long farming terrace built along the northern bank of Nahal Kesalon and bordering a path that follows the course of the stream; several concentrations of flint, probably flakes, were identified along the terrace and the path.
Nahal Zova (Fig. 3)
20. A rock-hewn and built limekiln (diam. 3 m, max. depth 2.2 m) on the northern bank of Nahal Zova, close to the confluence of Nahal Zova and Nahal Soreq. The limekiln was hewn in the bedrock and then was lined with medium-sized fieldstones.
21. A wall (min. length 20 m) built of large fieldstones, which was the southern side of a channel built along Nahal Zova. The channel was meant to direct the flood waters in the winter or a strong flow on rainy days, and prevent flooding and soil erosion of the cultivated plots along the course of the stream. The phenomenon of ‘capturing a streambed’ is well-known from several streams in the region of the Jerusalem hills, such as Nahal ‘En Kerem and Upper Nahal Kesalon (see Site 41, below).
22. A large limekiln (diam. 5 m, max. depth 3.5 m), several meters above the confluence of Nahal Zova and Nahal Soreq; apart from the section where the stoke hole and air vent have collapsed, the installation’s state of preservation is rather impressive.
Har Heret – ‘En Kerem (Fig. 4)
23. A ‘storage niche’ (width 0.5 m, depth 1.4 m, height 0.85 m; Fig. 20) built inside a farming terrace that is generally aligned north–south; the opening of the niche faces east. Other niches that were identified in the region (see Sites 24 and 25, below) were apparently used to store tools or agricultural produce for short periods, similar to watchman’s huts. The temporary storage of tools was necessary for farmers who cultivated land that was not located near their dwellings. The area of Har Heret is far enough away for the residents of ‘En Kerem and Qolonia who cultivated it, so that these villagers would install the niches. It is apparent that this niche, like others in the region of Har Heret, was built together with a farming terrace and was an integral part of it.
24. A ‘storage niche’ (0.6×0.7 m, height 0.55 m) built inside a farming terrace that was oriented east–west and had partly collapsed into the niche.
25. A ‘storage niche’ (0.45×0.55 m, depth 1.4 m; Fig. 21) built similar to the niches identified at Sites 23 and 24; the niche was built at a point where a fence meets a farming terrace.
26. A watchman’s hut was identified on the northern bank of a channel that descends southeast toward Nahal Soreq. The outline of the structure is round (diam. 4.5 m; Figs. 22, 23) and its ceiling collapsed inside it. Sections of walls built around it were founded directly on top of the bedrock (eastern wall— width 0.9 m, preserved height 1.4 m; southern wall— width 1.1 m, preserved height 1.9 m). An opening visible on the eastern side of the watchman’s hut led into the structure, whose inside was mainly buried beneath the collapse of its ceiling (Fig. 24).
27–30. Farming terraces aligned east–west that covered most of the southern and eastern slopes of Har Heret. A sampling of the terraces’ dimensions was measured. A foundation course was usually built of large fieldstones that were founded directly on top of the bedrock. The terraces, built of four–eight courses of medium-sized fieldstones, were preserved 1.0–1.5 m high. Heaps of small fieldstones mixed with terra rossa soil were identified on top of some terraces.
31. A row of flat upright fieldstones that were partially dressed and placed inside a shallow stone clearance heap; a road (?) located parallel to the line of an agricultural plot, at a distance of 2.5 m (Fig. 25).
32. A farming terrace (width c. 0.4–0.5 m, preserved height 0.7–0.8 m; Fig. 26) built and cleared along the southeastern fringes of Har Heret, c. 20 m above the Kerem–Sataf road. A section of the terrace was generally oriented northeast-southwest and survived four–five courses of small fieldstones high; above them were large fieldstones arranged as stretchers. This terrace characterizes the farming terraces in this region.
33. A farming terrace similar to Terrace 32.
34. A round watchman’s hut (diam. 3.6 m; preserved height 3.7 m) located at the northern end of a farming terrace that is generally aligned north–south, above the course of Nahal Soreq. The opening (0.5×0.9 m) of the hut was facing north and led inside a domed interior. Flat fieldstone steps that were located south of the opening led to the roof and were incorporated in the front of the structure. A curved wall was built on the roof; its western side is thickened and two storage niches were built in it (Fig. 27).
35. An installation, signs of rock-cutting and severance of stones on the bedrock surface, perhaps modern.
36. A burial cave that was adapted as a storeroom in the modern era. A structure of fieldstones and concrete was built around and above the cave in the modern era (Fig. 28). Nevertheless, it is possible to discern from the plan of the cave that its opening, which faced west (3.10×3.25 m), was breached, a metal door was fixed in it and its hinge was set in concrete. A section of a modern wall was built south of the opening to block the breach. A standing pit (1.20×1.55 m) hewn in the center of the cave is filled with modern refuse. Six similar arched loculi (length 2.0–2.2 m, width 0.4 m, max. height 0.7 m; Fig. 29) were hewn in the sides of the cave. A section of the cave’s ceiling that had collapsed was covered with iron bars, overlain with metal sheets. Traces of soot from the fires that were lit inside the cave are evident on the walls. Three sections of fieldstone walls were built nearby to the west of the cave; two short sections on either side of the opening formed a kind of corridor and another wall, parallel to the western side, enclosed a space opposite the cave, creating a small courtyard.
37. Remains of an agricultural unit, possibly modern, were identified on top of the northern bank of Nahal Soreq, south of the ‘En Kerem Agricultural School. The unit includes farming terraces aligned east–west (Fig. 30), a fence (Fig. 31), stone clearance heaps (Fig. 32) and signs of rock-cuttings. Eroded potsherds, most of which are non-diagnostic, are scattered in the region and between the farming terraces. The region was disturbed by modern agricultural activity.
Moza (Fig. 5)
38. A rectangular watchman’s hut (3.1×3.9 m, preserved height 3.2 m; Fig. 33) was identified north of the Nahal Soreq channel and to the east of the hut is a large bedrock outcrop. The foundations of the structure were placed directly on the bedrock, without mortar. It was built of fieldstones, some of which were partially hewn. The opening faces south (0.8×1.6 m) and a large lintel stone is set at its top. The inside of the hut is circular (diam. 2.45 m, height 2.25 m) and covered with a corbelled dome, whereby each successive course was placed slightly inward toward the center of the hut’s interior, forming a domed structure (Fig. 34). A window (0.3×1.0 m) that begins at ground level was set in the western part; it is possible to discern the width of the hut’s walls (1 m) through the window. Another room is built next to the hut’s southwestern corner. An opening (0.6×1.1 m) in the west of that room led to another circular room (diam. 1.4 m), also covered with a dome (height 1.3 m; Fig. 35).
39. Tel Moza—the planned route of the water pipeline passes along the southern edge of Tel Moza, which mostly extends north of Highway 1. This region was not surveyed because the route in this area will be examined separately.
Bet Neqofa (Fig. 6)
40. Remains of a ruin located east of the Hemed Interchange, extending along both sides of Highway 1. Numerous potsherds from the Early Roman, Late Roman, Byzantine, Early Islamic and Ottoman periods are scattered on the surface. In addition, fragments of basalt grinding stones were identified. Many building stones are scattered on the surface, some of which were put to secondary use in the construction of farming terraces. Many potsherds were identified on the farming terraces and in between their stones. A ‘plain’ stone capital was identified lying at the base of a farming terrace. An underground water system of a spring that flows in its center (see Site 41) was mapped in the area of the ruin. Villagers of Beit Naqquba, which was situated next to the ruin until 1948, referred to this spring as ‘Ain Naqa‘a. Recently, an excavation was conducted at the site and in the water system (Permit No. A-6601) and remains of the spring’s reservoir and feeder channels were exposed and tentatively dated to the Late Roman period (D. Storchan, per. comm.). A complete description of the surveyed water system will be presented together with the results of this excavation. A ruin by the name of Khirbat el-Khanāzir appears on British Mandate maps, at the top of a spur where the site was identified (Kloner 2003a). The site was probably part of the ruin whose remains cannot be distinguished today.
41. A wall for channeling the flow of water in the streambed, built along the western bank of Upper Nahal Kesalon. A parallel wall was partly preserved on the opposite bank. These walls may have been used to channel the flow of the water in the stream (See Site 21).
42. A tunnel spring and water system (Fig. 36). The water system reflects several phases of use and preparation:
A hewn tunnel—the spring flowed in the eastern end of a rock-cut tunnel that has a rectangular cross-section (0.5×12.0 m, average height 1.0–1.2 m; Fig. 37). Signs of diagonal rock-cutting are evident along the sides of the channel.
A rock-cut ‘control room’—the hewn tunnel ends in a rock-cut and built control room (2.4×2.7 m, height 1 m) in whose southern third is a hewn column that supports the ceiling. Access to this room was by way of a shaft from the surface, via a channel s that slopes to the north.
A shallow system of hewn channels—west of the room was a system of parallel rock-cut channels of similar length, which formed a rectangular plan (6×15 m, average height 1 m; Fig. 38); on the sides of the channels were walls built of medium-sized fieldstones, which were covered with large stone slabs. Fills used by the farming terraces that were identified on the surface was spilled above the stone slabs. The fill covering the channels aided in reducing the evaporation of water from the spring. A shaft that provided access and ventilation to this part of the system (Fig. 39) was discerned in the northeastern corner of the channel system.
A hewn chamber, an inner pool—a hewn channel at the southwestern end of the system of channels (see above) drains into a rock-cut cavity (3.0×6.5 m, Fig. 40). Another built channel (length 5 m) branches off from its southeastern end, but could not be surveyed because of its narrow dimensions.
Reservoir —a point was identified near where the channel branches off, where the underground system connects to the remains of a reservoir that was exposed in a former excavation (Permit No. A-6601).
Outer channel—sections of an exterior water channel were documented on the surface; an iron pipe that drained the spring water was identified at the southern end of the channel (Fig. 41). A section of a broad farming terrace (3×16 m) was also documented.
Brekhat Ha-Morim (Fig. 7)
43. A shallow stone clearance heap (diam. 2 m), containing small fieldstones, mostly covered with alluvium and pine needles.
44. An elliptical stone clearance heap (4×8 m). The top of a wall or a foundation, built of medium-sized fieldstones and preserved a single course high, is discernible along the edge of the heap; the wall was meant to enclose the stone pile.
45. A section of a field wall (length 2–3 m), built of small to medium fieldstones and preserved a single course high (0.3 m).
46. A section of a fence (length 1–2 m), built of small to medium fieldstones, one course high.
47. A section of a thin, poorly preserved field wall (length 2–3 m), a single course of small–medium fieldstones, set directly on top of the bedrock.
48. Several thin field walls (average length 4–5 m, thickness c. 0.6 m) built of especially large stones set directly on the bedrock.
49. A large elliptical stone clearance heap (Fig. 42) delineated by an enclosure wall of small fieldstones.
50. A sheep pen (?), a square enclosure with a room in its southeastern corner (?), crudely constructed from large fieldstones.
51. A section of an agricultural road (?) built of a row of medium fieldstones and mostly buried beneath alluvium and pine needles (Fig. 43). It is not possible to discern a parallel wall section. The bedrock next to the wall is high and level and probably natural. The wall is c. 150 m from the middle of Horbat Maror/Murran (See Site 52).
52. Remains of a ruinous farmstead (Fig. 44). The remains were identified at the highest point of Trigonometric Point 837 and on the surface of a spur that descends eastward from it, toward Wadi el-Keikh (see Site 7). The ruin appears as Khirbat El-Murân on the SWP map (Conder and Kitchener 1880: Sheet XVII) and was partially surveyed during the time of the British Mandate by Baramki, who identified building foundations, sections of streets, an ancient road and a tomb (IAA archive, Mandate Folder 938). Many building stones are scattered in the vicinity of the ruin, some were cleared into large heaps (Fig. 45) and some were incorporated in secondary use in the field walls built around the ruin. Some of the ruin’s buildings were preserved at its highest elevation, including foundations and sections of walls of very large structures (Fig. 46), courtyards and sections of streets. Most of the remains were measured during the survey and compiled in a plan (Fig. 44) that shows the remains of four or five buildings. Some of the buildings have an inner courtyard and others, an enclosed courtyard outside the structure. A street that passed between two buildings was noted in the southern part of the site. The western building is especially large (20×20 m) and an in-situ threshold stone is visible in its northeastern corner (Fig. 47). Illicit digging in the building remains revealed the northern side of a section of a wall. The wall’s foundation is built of two rows of medium-sized fieldstones arranged as stretchers, between which small fieldstones were inserted as wedges that served to reinforce the foundation. One course of large square fieldstones, arranged as stretchers, survived on top of the foundation (preserved height 1 m; Fig. 48).
Potsherds dating to the Persian (?), Hellenistic and Early Roman periods are scattered in and around the region of the ruin. It seems that a large farmstead existed here, possibly similar to one exposed in the nearby settlement of Har Adar (Dadon 1997).
Nearly all of the surveyed sites reflect finds that are typical of traditional agriculture in the mountain region. Most of the surveyed region was within the area of Arab villages that subsisted on agriculture up until the mid-twentieth century CE, among them Ashu‘a/Eshta’ol, Zova, ‘En Kerem and Qolonia. The array of farming terraces, fences, agricultural roads, channels for directing the flow of water in the streams, watchman’s huts and crushing installations usually reflect the last usage of these systems that were operated until the modern era. However, some of these seem to reflect a more ancient group (Kloner 2003b: 49). Dense finds of agricultural activity in the region of Har Heret are related to the use of the mountain areas by the two main villages in this region, ‘En Kerem and Qolonia. The tunnel spring and the water system at Site 40 also typify the rural and agricultural settlement of the mountain region. The surveyed parts of the system reflect several periods and changes that were made to it. The ancient ceramic finds at the site where the system was identified are ascribed to the Early Roman period and that is probably also the time when it was constructed. This water system was used by the residents of the nearby village Beit Naquba—today Bet Neqofa—until the middle of the twentieth century CE. The rectangular outline of the channels that was identified in it is unique and seems to reflect phases in its development. The site where this system was used (Site 40) is located along the route of the Roman road from Emmaus–Nicopolis to Jerusalem and it benefited from this spring that flowed in it, from its proximity to the road and from the areas that were easily cultivated. The remains of the farmstead at Horbat Murran (Site 52) are next to a section of the Roman road that branched off in the vicinity of Abu Ghosh in the direction of Beit Iksa. The residents of this farm presumably cultivated agricultural areas in the region of Upper Nahal Kesalon, southwest of the site, where several flowing springs were present.