The excavation was carried out north of a previous excavation (Permit No. A-5469; Fig. 1). The site is located within the precincts of the Nesher Ramla quarry, where archaeological excavations were first conducted in 1996 (License No. B-62/1996, Permit Nos. A-4223, A-4559, A-5469).
Cisterns, tombs, dwellings, hiding refuges, a church, ritual baths (miqwa’ot) and a bathhouse, ascribed to Early Bronze Age I, as well as remains attributed to the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Late Islamic, Crusader and the beginning of the Mamluk periods, were exposed in these excavations.
Three squares were opened and a probe was dug in a spot that appeared to be a cave opening, but turned out to be natural.
Square 1. A stump of a terrace wall, built in a layer of black soil (W111; 0.4 x 2.0 m), was found. It was oriented east–west and dated to the Byzantine period. A few potsherds, as well as several white tesserae (1 x 1 cm), were discovered in the alluvium that had accumulated along the southern side of the wall. A bowl of the Phoacean Red Slip Ware (Fig. 2:1), dating to the Byzantine period (sixth–seventh centuries CE), was found next to the wall.
Square 2. A habitation layer from the Late Hellenistic and Early Roman periods, which included the base of an in-situ vessel (Fig. 3), but no architectural remains, was exposed. The ceramic finds consisted of vessels from various periods, including cooking pots from the Early Roman period (fig. 2:3, 12), from the Roman period (Fig. ) and from the end of the Persian or beginning of the Hellenistic period (Fig. 2:18, 19), jars from the Hellenistic period (Fig. 2:2, 4, 5, 7–9)' jugs from the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods (Fig. 2:6, 10, 14, 16, 17), and two lamps from the Early Islamic period (Fig. 2:20, 21).
Square 3. The excavation in this square reached the bedrock. A zir-type jar from the Early Islamic period (Fig. ), and a cooking pot (Fig. ) dating to the Roman period were found in the fill.
Although hiding refuges are known to exist in the region, a void inspected next to Square 3 turned out to be natural.
A habitation layer dating from the end of the Hellenistic period until the beginning of the Roman period was found at the site. No other finds were discovered in trial trenches that were dug with the aid of mechanical equipment, and it seems that this area was the margin of the site, located on the hilltop to the south and east. This supposition is further corroborated by the remains of the terrace wall from the Byzantine period uncovered in Square 1.