During 2005 a trial excavation was conducted in Netanya (Permit No. A-4651*; map ref. NIG 1873–6/6889–91; OIG 1373-6/1889-91), prior to the construction of a stadium. The excavation, carried out on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and sponsored by Eli Dallal, was directed by A. Bouchenino, with the assistance of A. Hajian (surveying and drafting), T. Sagiv (photography), A. Dagot (GPS), E. Ayalon of the Eretz Israel Museum (scientific consultation) and E. Belashov (drafting and plans).
The site is located in the western ‘gutter’, east of the middle kurkar ridge (c. 20 m above sea level).
The Hanun family arrived at the site from Tulkarem in the nineteenth century, establishing a farmstead that was part of the settlement process of western Samaria villages on the fertile alluvial soil of the Sharon Plain.
Three areas (A–C; Fig. 1) were opened north of the farmhouse and a farm building.
Area A. One and a half squares (A1 and A2) were opened. In Square A1 (L101; Fig. 2) the scant remains of two parallel walls (W20: length 1.50 m, width 0.75 m; W21:length 2.00 m, width 0.30–0.60 m) were discovered close to modern surface. The walls, founded on hamra, were built of various size fieldstones without bonding material and were aligned northwest-southeast. They were preserved one course high (0.16 and 0.32 m respectively) and did not form a clear architectural plan. In the half square (A2) a burnt layer (L111; thickness 0.09 m) that did not yield any datable finds was exposed.
Area B. Two squares (B1, B2; Fig. 3) were opened in which a wall (W10, length 35 m, width 0.85 m) was uncovered just below surface. It was built of different size fieldstones without bonding material and was founded on hamra; the wall was oriented north–south. The wall continued south of Square B1 and north of Square B2 and was preserved one course high (0.11–0.15 m). It was abutted from the east by a floor (F11; thickness 0.11 m) that consisted of a bedding of small to medium-sized fieldstones and a layer of cement. A few small body fragments of black Gaza Ware jars were found in between the stones of the wall and on the floor.
Area C. In Area C, which was severely damaged as a result of agricultural activity, five half-squares were opened (C1–C5) where levels of different size fieldstones without bonding material were exposed; their use was not ascertained. Pieces of cement between fieldstones were found in Squares C1–C3 (L302, 311, 321; Figs. 4–6). These were probably the remains of a floor of another farm building which together with the building in Area B and the aqueduct to the west formed a closed compound around a large courtyard.
A few undecorated body fragments of black Gaza Ware jars and pieces of Marseilles roof tiles that dated to the end of the Ottoman period were found.
The exposed architectural remains provide additional information about the farmstead (‘Biaret Hanun’). Until now only four main building complexes were known: the farmhouse, which was preserved in its entirety; a farm building to the south; a farm building to the east; and a building to the south of the house that was not preserved but was joined to the southern farm building by means of a wall or another building. (It appears on the cadastral map from 1928.) The buildings formed a closed compound around a courtyard, as was customary in compounds from the nineteenth century.
The area of the Hanun farmstead was apparently larger than previously thought. Complexes of this kind (see the khan at Hadera and Horbat ‘Eleq between Binyamina and Zikhron Ya‘akov) were mostly built at the end of the nineteenth century. It should be mentioned that the pool (‘Birqat Hanun’) appears on a map of the Survey of Western Palestine from 1878, whereas the farmstead itself does not appear on the map or in the survey report. In light of this it seems that the Hanun farmstead should be dated to the end of the Ottoman period.