During August–September 2003, a salvage excavation was conducted at Horbat Petora North (Permit No. A-3981; map ref. NIG 18210–20/61125–35; OIG 13210–20/11125–35), in the wake of paving work along the Cross-Israel Highway. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by I. Peretz and O. Feder, with the assistance of H. Lavi and E. Bachar (administration), A. Hajian (surveying), T. Sagiv (field photography), N. Zak (drafting) and P. Nahshoni and D. Varga.
Twelve and a half squares (200 sq m) were opened at the foot of a gentle hill, revealing meager remains of three walls (W117—length 0.9 m, width 0.25 m, height 0.21 m; W110—length 5.25 m, width 0.75 m, height 0.32 m; W111—length 6.7 m, width 0.4 m, height 0.18 m) that delimited a gray level mixed with numerous potsherds, glass and bones (Loci 112, 114, 115, 124, 127, 143, 153, 154). These were probably agricultural terraces built directly on bedrock.
Two natural caves (Loci 145, 146) were located below the gray level and the terraces’ soil fill, which contained fragments of pottery vessels that included a few jar rims from the Early Roman period, as well as Gaza jars, jugs, juglets, cooking pots, bowls, a fragment of a bowl decorated with a cross, fragments of lamps and glass, bones and basalt, all dating to the Late Byzantine and the beginning of the Early Islamic periods (sixth–seventh centuries CE).