During July 2005, a trial excavation was conducted at Khirbat Umm Sur, c. 60 m north of Tel Zoran (Permit No. A-4530*; map ref. NIG 19305–20/69005–20; OIG 14305–20/19005–20), after ancient remains were exposed while inspecting work by the Meqorot Water Company. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Mehadrin Company, Ltd., was directed by A. Bouchenino, with the assistance of A. Hajian (surveying and drafting), A. Dagot (GPS surveying), S. Mahajna (antiquities inspection), E. Belashov (drafting), T. Sagiv (studio photography) and M. Shuiskaya (artifact drawing).
A previous excavation (Permit No. A-3916) had been conducted at the site in 2003, revealing a winepress, sections of walls, a refuse pit and a kiln that dated to the Late Byzantine, Early Islamic (sixth–eighth centuries CE) and Ottoman periods.
Two squares (C11, C12) were opened in the current excavation.
Square C11. A section of a north–south oriented wall (W31; length 3.5 m, width 0.55–0.60 m, preserved height c. 0.35 m; Figs. 1, 2) was found. It was built of kurkar ashlars and founded on virgin soil. A floor (F32; thickness 0.12 m) of potsherds, crushed mortar and a few small fieldstones abutted the wall from the east.
Square C12. No building remains were found, except for a fill that was mixed with a few potsherds.
The ceramic finds from the two squares dated to the Byzantine period and included mostly body, handles and a few jar rim fragments (Fig. 3:1, 2), as well as a jar rim from the Early Islamic period (Fig. 3:3).
Wall 31 was the continuation of a building wall that was partly revealed in the 2003 excavation; the building was probably part of a winepress complex.