In September 2014, a trial excavation was conducted at Ramat Bet Shemesh (Permit No. A-7210; map ref. 196989–7138/624173–359; Fig. 1), prior to the construction of Neighborhood D2. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Ministry of Housing, was directed by M. Haber, with the assistance of M. Kahan (surveying and drafting), N. Nehama (administration) and A. Peretz (field photography).
Hewn Installations. A basin (L1; diam. c. 1.5 m, depth c. 0.3 m; Figs. 3, 4) was exposed; another basin (diam. 1.15 m, depth 0.3 m; Fig. 5) was revealed to its north, alongside a small cupmark (diam. 0.15 m, depth 0.1 m). To its west, on three adjacent boulders, was a concentration of cupmarks of various sizes (L19; diam. 0.15–0.50 m, depth 0.2–0.5 m; Fig. 6): seven were visible in one boulder; fourteen were noted on another, where one cupmark was surrounded by six smaller ones; and on a third boulder, three hewn grooves extended from a single cupmark (Fig. 7).
Roads. A section of an ancient road (L7; width c. 3 m; Figs. 2, 8, 9) ran in an east–west direction, probably toward Tel Yarmut. Each shoulder of the road was bordered by a row of fieldstones (W9, W11). A section of another road (L16; width c. 3 m) was unearthed to the north. It was oriented in a north–south direction, and was similarly flanked by two rows of stones (W17, W18; Fig. 10). It seems that the entire length of the roads’ shoulders were demarcated by rows of fieldstones.
Although the purpose of the basins and cupmarks is unknown, they were presumably used to produce must or olive oil, or were used for crushing. The roads, of which only small sections were exposed, are similar, and they apparently intersected. Even though the roads cannot be dated, it seems that they were associated with Tel Yarmut.