During July 2003 a salvage excavation was conducted in the village of Kabul (Permit No. A-3938*; map ref. NIG 22045/752365; OIG 17045/252365) after quarrying marks were exposed when trial trenches were dug along the route of a sewer pipe. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the Kabul Local Council, was directed by H. Abu-‘Uqsa, with the assistance of Y. Lerer (probe trenches), A. Shapiro (surveying), H. Smithline (photography) and H. Tahan (drawing).
Five burial caves had been discovered at the site in the past. Four of the caves were equipped with burial niches and one cave had two chambers without niches. Clay coffins were found in each of the caves and ossuaries were discovered in two of the caves. The caves were dated to the first–fourth centuries CE (HA 40:3; 48–49:33; ESI 16:137; 20: 129*; Eretz Tsafon 2002:141–145). Another excavation conducted in 1999 revealed the remains of a building that dated to the Mamluk period (HA-ESI 114:110*).
A soft qirton-hewn installation that included a funnel-shaped pit (diam. c. 0.24 m, depth 0.3 m; Figs. 1, 2) was exposed. A shallow channel linked it to a collecting vat (0.60 × 0.62 m, depth 0.33 m) that had a settling pit (diam. 0.18 m, depth c. 0.1 m) in its southeastern corner. A north–south oriented wall, built of qirton on top of bedrock, enclosed the west side of the installation that was probably used in the pressing and production of liquids.
The ceramic finds included cooking pots (Fig. 3:1, 2), jars (Fig. 3:3–5) and a lamp (Fig. 3:6) that dated to the end of the Hellenistic–Early Roman periods.
The potsherds gathered elsewhere along the route of the sewage pipe dated to the Roman, Byzantine and Mamluk periods. Fragments of colored plaster in shades of lustrous red, grayish-red, yellow, green and white were also collected (Fig. 4). Some of the fragments exhibited floral and geometric patterns and others were coated with two plaster layers of different colors.