A topographical depression, which was intentionally filled (thickness 1.5 m; Fig. 3) and was devoid of architectural finds, was exposed in the southern area (5 squares). Four layers of fill were identified: (1) brown alluvial topsoil containing pottery sherds from the EB II–III and Byzantine periods; (2) thin-grained white-gray soil with small fieldstones, fragments of EB II–III pottery vessels and bones; (3) gray-brown soil devoid of stones that contained large quantities of EB II–III pottery sherds, flint artifacts and bones; and (4) brown soil, covering the bedrock, which contained a few EB IB sherds and bones.
Ten squares were excavated in the northern area. Sections of walls oriented in a north–south direction, the date of which is unknown, were discovered in the western squares. In the eastern squares was brown alluvium that contained a few pottery sherds from the EB II and Byzantine periods. In some of the squares only calcareous bedrock was exposed.
A wall (W112; Fig. 4) built of two rows of large fieldstones (0.55 × 0.60 × 0.75 m), preserved to a height of a single course, was discovered in the southeastern part of the northern area. Abutting the wall in the southeastern square was a layer of gray-brown soil containing crushed chalk and few sherds, dating mostly from the EB II–III; no finds were discovered beneath this layer. A Canaanean blade and a core were found among the collapsed stones west of W112.
A terrace wall (W102; length c. 19.4 m, width 0.42–1.50 m, height 0.20–0.74 m; Fig. 5) extended on a topographic terrace running in a north–south direction east of W112. Wall 102 was built of two rows of large fieldstones (average dimensions 0.32 × 0.44 × 0.72 m), with brown soil mixed with small and medium-sized fieldstones and a few ceramics finds in between. The southern part of the wall was partially preserved—only four, but especially wide, courses (max. width 1.3 m); the wall became narrower as it continued further north. It seems that the wall was eroded in the northern squares of the southern area, with only a single row of stones remaining. Brown alluvium mixed with a few sherds, mainly from the Byzantine period, was excavated on either side of the wall.
In a later phase, probably still in the Byzantine period, a wall (W106; length 2.3 m, width c. 0.5 m, preserved height c. 0.3 m; Fig. 6) was built; only a row of six large fieldstones remains. Mixed ceramic finds dating from the EB II–III and Byzantine periods were found between the stones of the wall. An uneven curved line of stones was exposed c. 0.9 m east of this wall.
The excavation yielded pottery finds dating from the Early Bronze Age and the Byzantine period. The sherds attributed to the EB IB (EB IB1) discovered on the bedrock surface have parallels from Stratum C and the final phase of the EB IB (EB IB2) at Tel ʽErani. Most of the pottery sherds come from the layers of gray soil. Apart from several sherds that were dated to the EB II (platters with incurved rims), most of the ceramic artifacts belong to the beginning of the EB III—the phases that preceded the construction of the palace on the tell. The prominent types are large, coarse platters with an everted rim and a groove beneath the rim that bore red slip and were burnished in various patterns; holemouths with a thickened rim that is usually square in section; as well as storage jars and large pithoi. Wheel-made bowls, flat platters without a groove and squat jars, all of which are characteristic of the last phase of the city (de Miroschedji 2006), are absent. Fragments of a bowl and of jars that were found in the alluvium west of Terrace Wall 102 and on the surface were attributed to the Byzantine period.
Judging by the finds, three habitation phases can be discerned in the excavation area:
A. A layer of gray fill that contained potsherds and bones in a natural topographic depression. The ceramic finds date from the end of the EB II and the beginning of the EB III and are contemporary with Strata 4–3 at Tel Yarmut (de Miroschedji 1988
:27). The foundation course of a wall (W112) that may have carried a mud brick construction was also discovered. The proximity to the western gate of Tel Yarmut may suggest that the layer of fill and Wall 112 were associated with activity on the tell. The Yarmut inhabitants probably prepared the western slopes of the tell for cultivation during the EB III, but because the bedrock surface in the area was high they were compelled to fill in topographical depressions (Paz, Mizrachi and Grossman 2015
B. A long terrace wall (W102) with adjacent finds from the Byzantine period. Bearing in mind the agricultural activity at Tel Yarmut and in its vicinity, one can cautiously suggest that this terrace was built in the Byzantine period. The fieldstones used to construct the terrace were similar to those at Tel Yarmut; it is plausible that stones from the tell were put to secondary use when building the wall.
C. Wall 106, built of a single row of stones. Although no datable finds were discovered, it was determined that the wall postdates the terrace wall.