During May–June 2005 a salvage excavation was conducted in the Yattir Forest (Permit No. A-4474; map ref. NIG 20085/60853; OIG 15085/10853), along the route 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, with the participation of A. Freiberg (area supervision) and A. Hajian (surveying).
A bedrock surface (20 × 50 m), in which various installations are hewn, was exposed at the top of a hill (Fig. 1). The surface was delimited by a wall (width c. 0.7 m, preserved height c. 0.5 m). The installations included a winepress (L100) that consisted of a treading floor (0.2 × 2.5 × 3.0 m) and a collecting vat (0.7 × 1.0 × 1.0 m; Figs. 1, 2). A rock-hewn water cistern (diam. of opening c. 1 m, depth c. 2.5 m) was in the middle of the collecting vat. Fragments of worn potsherds that dated to the Byzantine period were found in the excavation of the winepress. West of the winepress, two large cupmarks (Loci 100/1, 100/2; diam. 0.8 m, depth 0.3 m) and two smaller cupmarks (Loci 100/3, 100/4; diam. c. 0.1 m; Figs. 1, 3) were discovered.
A cultivation plot (100 × 150 m) in the middle of the slope included farming terraces, one of which, built of small stones, was partly excavated (L101; length c. 30 m, height 0.5 m; Figs. 4, 5). The terrace abutted a field wall that was built of larger stones.
A quarry (L102; 1 × 5 × 3 m) was excavated at the bottom of the slope. Severance channels (width c. 0.1 m) were exposed, indicating the large masonry stones (0.4 × 1.2 m) that were quarried there. Next to the quarry were a hewn cupmark (diam. c. 0.5 m, depth c. 0.1 m) and a shallow rock-hewn channel that led to it (Figs. 6, 7).
No pottery vessels were found in the excavation of the installations; however, the potsherds scattered in the area dated to the Byzantine period. It seems that the installations reflected the agricultural activity in this period along the fringes of a settlement, probably Yattir, which was located c. 600 m north of the excavation area.