During May 2003 a salvage excavation was conducted next to the acoustic wall in Newe Monosson (Permit No. A-3877*; map ref. NIG 18780/65960; OIG 13780/15960). The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the Department of Public Works, was directed by O. Sion, with the assistance of V. Pirsky (surveying), T. Sagiv (photography), E. Belashov (drafting) and A. Pikovski (pottery drawing).
The excavation was conducted at the site of Khirbat Kafrajun, next to Newe Monosson, where two previous excavations had been conducted. The first (License No. &-14/1958) exposed remains from the Iron Age and the Persian, Byzantine and Early Islamic periods and the second (HA-ESI 119
) revealed agricultural installations that dated to the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods.
Meager remains, including a pillar and two ovens (tabun) were uncovered in the current excavation (Figs. 1, 2). A tamped-soil floor was exposed (L54) throughout the entire area of the square. The base of a pillar, built in hamra soil (0.3 × 0.3 m) of kurkar stones, was preserved a single course high. A tabun (L58), c. 1.5 m north of the pillar, had a double wall lined with small stones (inner diam. 0.3 m, outer diam. 0.6 m) and another tabun (L59), of bright reddish clay (diam. 0.65 m, height 0.55 m, wall thickness 2–3 cm), were exposed. To their south, four inverted jars stood in a row and it seems they were connected to the activity of and around the tabun.
The pottery vessels included jars (Fig. 3:1–6) and a clay lamp (Fig. 3:7), dating to the Byzantine period (fifth–sixth centuries CE).
The Byzantine site apparently extended across c. 15 dunams and its center was located south of the excavation. The paucity of remains in the excavation may indicate that the area is located along the fringes of the site.