An area (5×20 m; Fig. 2) was opened at the top of the mountain’s southern slope; a stone quarry and a cistern, hewn in layers of soft horizontal limestone, were exposed. Three quarrying steps descend to a depth of 1.6 m from the mostly exposed bedrock surface. Stones in initial stages of quarrying were revealed on some of the steps (Fig. 3); it was possible to reconstruct their dimensions based on those of the severance channels (average size 0.4×0.6 m). The quarry was mostly covered with terra rossa soil, which contained a few potsherds dating to the Byzantine period, including bases of flat bowls (Fig. 4:1, 2) and a jar rim (Fig. 4:3).
A bottle-shaped cistern with an elongated neck and a circular opening (L18; diam. c. 1.3 m; Fig. 5) was exposed on the upper northern side of the quarry; it was connected to a rectangular settling pit (0.55×0.65 m, depth 0.4 m), located to the east. The cistern was filled with soil and different size stones, some of which were dressed and square stones that related to the quarrying activity. Potsherds dating to the Roman period were recovered from the fill in the cistern, including a closed cooking pot (Fig. 4:4), three jar rims (Fig. 4:5–7) and a jug with a plain rim (Fig. 4:8).
Three probes (1–3) were opened and stone quarries were exposed in each of them.
Probe 1 (4×6 m; Fig. 6). Three quarrying steps were identified (depth 1.5 m). A row of different size stones (the largest c. 0.4×0.8 m, thickness 0.5 m), not completely quarried, was exposed on the middle step, surrounded by severance channels. The probe was filled with terra rossa soil and small amounts of calcareous fill near its bottom. Several fragments of pottery vessels from the Byzantine period, such as a jar rim (Fig. 4:9), were collected from the fill.
Probe 2 (3×3 m; Fig. 7). Two quarrying levels were identified. A large stone (0.4×0.7 m) that was not completely quarried was identified in the upper level, on the surface. A leveled quarrying surface covered with terra rossa fill was exposed on the bottom level (depth c. 1.2 m). Several body fragments of pottery vessels from the Roman and Byzantine periods (not drawn) were collected from the fill.
Probe 3 (4×10 m; Figs. 8, 9). Three quarrying levels were identified (depth 1.5 m). The probe was filled with dark clay, which contained several fragments of pottery vessels dating to the Byzantine period, including an imported bowl (Fig. 4:10) and a cooking pot (Fig. 4:11). Two coins were discovered on the floor of the quarry (L23); one is a bronze coin from an unknown mint, dating to the reign of the emperor Gordian III (238–244 CE; IAA 106175), and the other is a silver coin minted in Venice, from the time of Duke Antonio Venir (1382–1400 CE; IAA 106176).
Two adjacent squares (each 3×3 m) were opened and traces of rock-cuttings, which are indicative of a shallow quarry (depth c. 0.5 m), were identified in both. A section of a terrace wall, built of a single course of large fieldstones and founded mostly on soil fill, was examined north and west of the squares. Several potsherds dating to the Roman and Byzantine periods (not drawn) were gathered from the excavated fill.
The earliest feature exposed in the excavation is the cistern, which apparently went out of use during the Roman period. At the same time, perhaps the quarrying of ashlars had begun and this activity may have continued into the Byzantine period. Afterward, the quarries were filled-in and used for agricultural planting, as seems to be evident by the surface potsherds dating to the Byzantine period that were found in and around the quarries.