During September 2006, a salvage excavation was conducted on a building plot in Kafr Misr in the Lower Galilee (Permit No. A-4907*; map ref. NIG 239950/727775 OIG 189950/227775). The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by Y. Alexandre, assisted by Y. Laban (administration), V. Essman (surveying) and workers provided by the landowner.
The village of Kafr Misr is c. 3 km southeast of Mount Tabor, on a ridge overlooking Nahal Shumar, a tributary of Nahal Tabor (Wadi Bireh).
The architectural remains in the present small-scale excavation (c. 32 sq m) were uncovered very close to surface and thus suffered much damage from agricultural activities over the years.
The fragmentary remains of three connected stone walls (W106–W108) were exposed in a 16 sq m square, forming three sides of a small stone installation (c. 2.0 × 2.5 m), set directly on the basalt bedrock (Fig. 1). The walls, built of large hewn stones combined with smaller roughly worked stones, were preserved a maximum of two courses high (0.6 m). Patches of plaster coating on all the walls and the floor (L102) were traced; three consecutive layers were observed in a couple of places. The plaster contained several ribbed ceramic body fragments, from either the Late Roman or the Byzantine periods, thus providing a date for the plastering of the small installation, which may have been a pool. It is probable that the pool was built in the Middle Roman period and continued in use down to the Byzantine period. The location of the pool may indicate it was meant to catch overflow waters from the spring, which provided for drinking or watering animals, or perhaps irrigated the orchards.
The small excavation provided evidence for activities around the water source in the Roman and Byzantine periods, at the time when a Jewish community that had a synagogue (‘Atiqot 25:117–134) occupied the site of Kfar Misr.