In May 2013, a salvage excavation was conducted north of Ha-Hashmona’yim Boulevard, in the eastern entrance to Modi‘in (Permit No. A-6787; map ref. 20147–54/64333–636). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Derech Afar Company, Ltd., was directed by P. Spivak, with the assistance of E. Bachar and Y. Amrani (administration), A. Hajian and M. Kunin (surveying and drafting) and A. Peretz (field photography).
The excavation area is located within the Khirbat Abu Fureij antiquities, south of Tel Shilat and northwest of Horbat Tittora. The region is characterized by rocky hills that include limited agricultural land, bedrock terraces and streambeds. Numerous remains of agricultural activity were discovered in surveys and excavations previously conducted in the region (‘Ad 2011).
In the current excavation, four agricultural terraces were exposed. Their walls were haphazardly built of one row of medium (max. size c. 0.2 × 0.3 m) and large (0.4 × 0.5 m) stones, usually placed directly on the bedrock (W4–W7; length 2–13 m; Fig. 1); the walls were preserved to a height of one course. The agricultural terraces exploited bedrock terraces in order to create level areas for cultivation. Two shallow, elliptical cupmarks (L1), which might have been used for grinding grain, were hewn in bedrock northeast of W5.
The terraces are located in an extensive agricultural region which served the surrounding settlements. The construction of these terraces on the slopes was the most common method in antiquity for preparing an area for cultivation. The numerous agricultural installations that were previously discovered in the vicinity suggest that a large portion of the crops grown in the region were processed near the agricultural areas.