During December 2009, a trial excavation was conducted in the resort center of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot (Khirbat el-Bad; Permit No. A-5783; map ref. 18256/64646), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Weizmann Institute of Science, was directed by D Golan, with the assistance of E. Bachar (administration), M. Kunin (surveying), V. Eshed (physical anthropology), A. Perez (field photography), B. Antin (drafting), P. Gendelman (ceramics consultation) and M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing).
Stratum 3. Extremely sparse remains of small fieldstones without mortar (L106; 0.85 × 1.35 m; thickness c. 8 cm) were exposed; jar fragments that dated to the end of the Byzantine and the beginning of the Umayyad periods (Fig. 3:1–4) were inserted in-between and placed atop the stones. This was probably the bottom or foundation of a refuse pit that had an industrial connection.
Scant remains of an end of a wall (W107; length 0.7, width 0.3 m, height c. 0.1 m), built of small fieldstones and preserved a single course high, were exposed northeast of L106. The ceramic finds from the vicinity of the wall were identical to those from L106.
Stratum 2. A foundation (L110; 1.7 × 1.8 m; thickness c. 0.13 m) built of small fieldstones, without mortar was exposed. A stone-lined pit (L114; diam. 0.6 m, depth 0.2 m) that had no floor was discovered in the southwestern corner of the foundation, overlaying hamra soil devoid of any finds. Fragments of pottery vessels that dated to the Umayyad and Abbasid periods were found in the vicinity of the pit, including kraters (Fig. 3:5, 6) and jars (Fig. 3:7, 8), among them a saqiye jar (Fig. 3:8).
Stratum 1. A cluster of fieldstones (L113; 1.35 × 1.90 m), without mortar and without a clear outline, was exposed c.0.5 m below the surface. It was probably a refuse pit that included pieces of animal bones and jar fragments that dated to the Abbasid period (Fig. 3:9, 10).
Whereas a variety of ceramic finds was revealed in previous excavations at the site, the pottery recovered from the current excavation consisted mainly of jar fragments that point to industrial activity. The saqiye jar fragment would seem to imply the presence of nearby agricultural installations. The pottery vessels were probably connected to the workshop that had been exposed in the past c. 60 m from the excavation area.
The results of the current and previous excavations show that a rural settlement existed at Khirbat el-Bad from the Late Byzantine until the Abbasid periods. The settlement constituted part of the rural hinterland on the road between Lod and Ramla and Yavne, similar to the settlements at Khirbat Deiran, c. 1 km to the south (ESI 20:93*–95*, HA-ESI 111:59*) and at Khirbat Hermas, c. 1.5 km to the southwest (HA-ESI 117, HA-ESI 119).