Two areas (A, B; Fig. 2) were opened in which three and one half squares (A1–A4) and two and one half squares (B1–B3) were excavated respectively.
Area A
A shallow, levelled quarry (L101; length 5.2 m; Fig. 3) used to produce stone blocks for construction was exposed in Sq A1. Channels were revealed that surrounded stone blocks until they were severed from bedrock. One stone (0.30 × 0.40 × 0.73 m; Fig. 4), still partially attached to bedrock, remained in the northern part of the quarry. To the west of the quarry, rubble debris that probably resulted from rock cutting was removed. The southern part of the quarry was visible outside the square, near a wall (W10) in Sq A2.
Two walls that may have formed a corner were exposed in Square A2, c. 1 m south of Sq A1. Wall 10 (length c. 3.5 m, max. width 0.4 m), set directly on bedrock, was built of large, partially-dressed limestone ashlars (average size 0.3 × 0.7 × 1.0 m) using dry construction technique. It ran parallel to the quarry in Sq A1. Only one course of the wall was preserved, but additional, collapsed stones were discerned to its east. Wall 11 (length c. 3 m, width 0.45 m) was also built of partially-dressed limestone ashlars and was partly preserved. A probe (L126) excavated in the western part of the wall showed that the wall postdates the quary. Remains of a square rock-cutting (L125), perhaps an installation, were discerned next to the wall’s northern face. These walls were presumably built of stones produced from the quarry. The walls were abutted by a mosaic floor with a foundation made of light-colored plaster. Only a tiny fraction of the floor survived (L119; 0.20 × 0.22 m; Fig. 5), bearing a colored decoration, the nature of which could not be determined due to its poor state of preservation.
Another building-stone quarry was exposed in Sq A3. Several building stones still attached to the bedrock (L121; 0.35 × 0.45; Fig. 6) as well as severance channels surrounding them were discerned. A hewn step (L127; length c. 1.5 m) was noted in the western part of the square, and a square rock-cutting was exposed in the northern part, where a building stone had been removed (L128).
In Sq A4, an L-shaped quarry (1.8 × 5.0 m, depth 1.4 m) was exposed. A quarrying step (L112; length 4 m, width 0.7 m; Fig. 7) was hewn in its upper part.
Area B
With the exception of several large fieldstones that probably collapsed from a wall, no ancient remains were found in Sq B1 (Fig. 8).
Half-square B2 was located near the Nahal Ezov streambed. Two walls (W12, W13; Fig. 9) that formed a corner were exposed in a conglomerate layer of alluvial stones (max. thickness c. 1 m). Wall 13 (length 2.7 m), aligned in a north–south direction, was built of two rows of large ashlars (average size 0.5 × 0.9 m) and an upper course of medium-sized fieldstones. Wall 12 (length 2.1 m) was built of large ashlars and was oriented along an east–west axis. Part of it was obscured by the southern balk in the excavation square. The wall was preserved to a height of two courses. Both walls were apparently abutted by a stone-paved floor (L129), of which only one well-dressed stone was preserved (0.22 × 0.55 m; Fig. 9). A yellow plaster floor (L130) abutted W13 from the east.
Two industrial mosaic floors (L120, L124; size of tesserae 2 × 2 cm) were exposed in Sq B3, separated by a partition built of a single course of ashlars (Fig. 10). The floors were partially excavated and it seems that they were part of a large complex winepress, the likes of which were found in fairly large numbers in previous excavations at Castra. A similar, partly-restored winepress is located c. 80 m southwest of the excavation square.
In both excavation areas a large amount of pottery was collected dating to the Byzantine period, particularly the fifth–sixth centuries CE, including cooking pots (Fig. 11:1, 2), a krater (Fig. 11:3), jars (Fig. 11:4–7), an amphora (Fig. 11:8) and a lid (Fig. 11:9).
The quarries and architectural remains, most of which were poorly preserved, supplements our knowledge about Castra’s northern boundary in the Byzantine period.