During November 2001, a salvage excavation was conducted along the eastern fringes of Kafr Bara (Permit No. A-3526 map ref. 19768–97/67066–79), prior to preparing infrastructure for the installation of an electric grid. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by M. Abu Fana, with the assistance of V. Essman and V. Pirsky (surveying and drafting) and M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing).
Three excavation squares (1–3) were opened, 50 and 25 m apart, on a street that runs along the top of the southeastern slope, which descends precipitously toward the stream that borders the village from the east (Fig. 1). Architectural remains, apparently those of dwellings that belonged to a rural settlement dating to the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods (sixth–ninth centuries CE), were exposed. The ceramic finds indicate that the region was also settled prior to and following these periods.
Square 1 (2.5×5.0 m; Fig. 2). Remains of an ashlar wall (W6) were exposed; it was oriented east–west and preserved three courses high. A floor of flat fieldstones (L516) abutted the bottom course of the wall. The ceramic finds included a thick-sided mortarium base of pale green clay with black and white inclusions from the Persian period (Fig. 5:1) and a fragment of a jar or pipe of white clay that dated to the Early Islamic period (Fig. 5:2).
Square 2 (Fig. 3). Part of a rectangular room that probably belonged to a residential building was exposed. The three walls of the room (W1–W3), built of partly dressed limestone, were founded on bedrock. Walls 1 and 2 were preserved a single course high and W3—two courses high. Remains of plaster, probably that of a floor (L525), were noted on the bedrock inside the room. Next to the southwestern corner of the room was a stone doorjamb that seems to indicate an entrance. A cistern was revealed west of W1. Four courses of a limestone shaft were placed above the rock-hewn opening of the cistern. The uppermost course of the cistern’s shaft was incorporated in the construction of W1. Remains of a plaster floor (L514) that abutted the cistern’s shaft and the western side of W1 were exposed south of the cistern.
The ceramic finds consisted of various imported bowls that were widespread and prevalent in the Byzantine period, including Late Roman C (Fig. 5:3, 4) and Cypriot Red Slip ware (Fig. 5:5, 6); jars (Fig. 5:7, 8), including a Gaza-type jar that dated to the Byzantine or Early Islamic periods (Fig. 5:9). A jug or small jar of buff ware (Fig. 5:10) and a white clay flask (Fig. 5:11) are attributed to the Early Islamic period, as well as a body fragment of a bowl that is glazed green on the inside and adorned with a stamped design on the exterior that was made in a stone mold (Fig. 5:12).
Square 3 (2.5×5.0 m; Fig. 4). Two parallel walls (W4, W5), c. 0.6 m apart and oriented east–west, were exposed. They probably belonged to a residential building that extended beyond the excavation area. It seems that W5, which was built of larger and different stones than those of W4, was the later of the two walls; it was damaged in the modern era in the southwestern part of the square.
The ceramic finds from the square included a cooking-pot lid (Fig. 6:1), a fragment of a Cypriot Red Slip bowl (Fig. 6:2), a cooking-pot rim (Fig. 6:3) and a jar (Fig. 6:4) from the Byzantine period, as well as three jars (Fig. 6:5–7) from the Early Islamic period and a glazed bowl from the Crusader period, which was decorated on the interior with black lines and green and yellow paint (Fig. 6:8).