In February 2016, an excavation was conducted near Nahal Solelim and the western road leading into Be’er Shevaʽ (Permit No. A-7621; map ref. 176597–736/574211–330; Fig. 1), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Be’er Shevaʽ Economic Development Company, was directed by M.D. Pasternak with the assistance of H. Hamer (supervision), Y. El-ʽAmor (administration), E. Aladjem (photography), A. Hajian and M. Kunin (surveying and drafting), I. Lidsky-Reznikov (pottery drawing), Y. Abadi-Reiss and S. Talis (consultation) and laborers from Kiryat Gat and the Zoharim Youth Village.
Two areas (A, B) were opened. Eight squares were excavated in Area A, yielding collapsed stones, probably building remains; no pottery vessels were discovered. Due to the poor preservation of the remains it was difficult to assess their nature and chronology. The excavation in Area B was carried out around a bell-shaped cistern that dates from the Byzantine period (L200; diam. of opening 1.5 m, depth 6 m; Figs. 2, 3). The cistern was dug into the loess soil, its opening was lined with medium-sized fieldstones, and patches of plaster survived on its walls. A massive capstone was placed over the cistern, partially covered the opening. A groove worn in the side of the capstone’s opening was formed by the rope used when drawing water from the cistern. A rectangular settling basin (L202; 0.50 × 0.65 m, depth 0.6 m; Fig. 4), situated on the northern side of the cistern, was dug into the loess soil and lined with small fieldstones. Two terra-cotta pipes (length 0.3 m, diam. 8 cm; Fig. 5) connected the cistern to the settling basin. Ceramics dating from the Byzantine period were found in and around the basin. These included a krater rim (Fig. 6:1) and jar rim (Fig. 6:2).
Israel Y., Seriy G. and Feder O. 2013. Remains of a Byzantine and Early Islamic Rural Settlement at the Be’er Sheva‘ North Train Station. ʽAtiqot
73:51*–76* (Hebrew; English summary, pp. 140–142).
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