During June 2005, an excavation was conducted in the Yattir Forest (Permit No. A-4508*; map ref. NIG 19945/58470; OIG 14945/08470), prior to the construction of the separation fence. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Ministry of Defense, was directed by M. Haiman (photography), with the assistance of A. Freiberg (area supervision) and A. Hajian (surveying and drafting).
The excavation was conducted in an ancient cultivation plot (60 × 110 m) that extended along a slope. The area was enclosed by a stone fence and retaining walls of farming terraces were visible within it. A section of a stone fence that delimited the area (W1) and one of the retaining walls (W2) were excavated. Wall 1 (exposed length 3.5 m; Figs. 1, 2) was built of large stones (max. length 1 m) that were set on bedrock (c. 0.2 m below surface). Wall 2 (length 13 m, exposed length 2 m; Figs. 3, 4) was built of small and medium-sized stones to a height of 0.6 m. This cultivation plot is characteristic of the Yattir region. Potsherds dating to the Byzantine period were recovered from similar plots that were excavated in the region.