The excavation extended along the southwestern side of Moshav Zippori, in a flat alluvial fan sloping moderately southward, to the southwest of the ancient city of Zippori. No excavations were conducted in the immediate vicinity of the current excavation. Extensive excavations were conducted in the past to the south of Moshav Zippori, in preparation for the widening and upgrading of Highway 79 (Shatil 2020 [Fig. 1: A-7912]; Permit Nos. A-6784, A-8055) and at sites near ‘En Zippori (Barzilai 2010; Barzilai et al. 2013; Milevski and Getzov 2014; Yaroshevich 2016b), and at Giv‘at Rabbi (Barzilai and Milevski 2010; Yaroshevich 2016a), where remains from the Middle Palaeolithic, Pre-Pottery Neolithic–Early Bronze Age II, Roman, Byzantine and Crusader periods were exposed.

The excavation (Fig. 2; 3D model) was not conducted in an excavation square of the usual size due to the presence of trees and other modern disturbances, including a water pipeline that crosses the area. Roman pottery that had been swept to the site was found on the surface. After removing a layer of brown colluvial soil (thickness 0.8 m) containing small and medium-sized stones, the remains of a proto-historic settlement of unclear date—either the Early Chalcolithic period or the Early Bronze I (Stratum 2)—were discovered in loose, light brown soil that contained almost no small stones; two construction phases were identified in these remains. The finds from Stratum 2 include worn pottery, flint items, stone tools and a copper artifact. A pit dug into Stratum 2 in a later phase yielded potsherds from the Roman period (Stratum 1).
Stratum 2
Phase 2B (Fig. 3). A curved wall (W32; width 0.4 m; Figs. 4, 5), founded on leveled bedrock, was built of two rows of large and medium-sized fieldstones with a core of small stones; the wall was preserved to a height of three courses (0.5 m). The wall was abutted by a leveled bedrock floor (L41), on which a few potsherds were found. This appears to have been the northeastern part of a building, most of which extends beyond the limits of the excavation. Another leveled rock floor (L40) to the north of the wall moderately sloped eastward. An oval pit (L44; Fig. 6), only part of which lay within the excavation area, was hewn in Floor 40; the pit was probably part of an area where outdoor activities took place. The bottom of the pit yielded a small, poorly preserved copper artifact (Basket 319).
Phase 2A (Figs. 7, 8). Floor 41 was covered by a soil fill (L38) overlain by a floor (L36; Fig. 9) made of small and medium-sized stones laid so that their flat side faced upward; the floor abutted the upper course of W32. A fill of stones (L43) placed to the northeast of W32 sealed Pit 44. A soil fill (L33) placed on top of Floor 40 contained potsherds and stone tools. Wall 32 was abutted to the north by a small wall (W39; Fig. 10) built of a row of medium-sized stones. The area north of W32 and west of W39 contained a floor of small and medium-sized stones (L42; Fig. 11) that was similar in style to Floor 36. A burnt depression found on Floor 42 suggests the presence of a cooking installation there, possibly in a small room beside the building. Remains of burnt mud bricks (L34) were found to the southeast of W39.
Stratum 1
An oval pit (L37; 0.6 × 0.9 m, depth 0.3 m; Fig. 12) was dug into Floor 36 and Fill 38; the top part of the pit may have been removed when the surface layer was cleared. The bottom of the pit yielded pottery from the Roman period, including fragments of cooking pots and jars (not drawn).
Finds from Stratum 2
Pottery. Most of the pottery was worn and friable, but some potsherds were identified as bowl rims (Fig. 13:1–4) and a fragment of a closed vessel bearing rope decoration (Fig. 13:5), as well as body fragments slipped in red or brown. The fabric and red slip are characteristic of Early Chalcolithic 3 (Getzov 2009: Figs. 2.29, 2.30). The lithological study of the pottery (see Appendix) indicated a resemblance in the inclusions to the pottery from the nearby site of ‘En Zippori, which is dated to the Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze periods.
Stone Tools. Four items were recovered (not drawn): a rounded basalt upper grinding stone; a fragment of a perforated basalt item found on Floor 41; a flaked limestone disk (Rosenberg et al. 2009); and a natural limestone pebble, one end of which is pointed to form the working edge of a bifacial tool. Bifacial tools made of stone are uncommon in the Early Chalcolithic period (Rosenberg 2011: Figs. 8.49, 8.105:2, 3) and are generally absent from Early Bronze I in the Southern Levant (Rosenberg and Golani 2012:35).
Flint Items
Masha Krakovsky
Thirty-nine flint items were collected (Table 1); three—a core and two broken flakes—are burnt. The assemblage is characterized by an ad hoc industry and is devoid of items that are typical of the Chalcolithic period or Early Bronze Age, such as blades and sickle blades produced using Canaanite technology. Only one blade that was probably produced using Canaanite technology, or at least using a prismatic technology for producing standard-sized blades was found (Fig. 14:1); its distal end was broken. However, it was found in Pit 37, which is a late intrusion into the earlier strata. Most of the items are made of good-quality brown and beige raw material.
A distinct striking platform was identified only on one core (Fig. 14:2). This core has no cortex, and it is unclear if it was made on a flake or on a nodule. Three other cores, amorphous in shape, exhibit several striking platforms and bear varying degrees of cortex. Small, irregularly shaped flakes were produced from these cores. Another core is a tested nodule that was hardly used. The debitage includes flakes, primary flakes (Fig. 14:3–6), blades, and a chip. Two 'naturally' backed items were also found (Fig. 14:7). The cores, debitage and 'naturally' backed items attest to local flint knapping on a limited scale. With the exception of Blade in Fig. 14:1, the blades are probably the result of 'expedient' knapping from simple, ad hoc cores, not oriented towards the production of standardized items. The tools from the excavation include two flakes with one notch, one flake with three notches—on the dorsal and ventral side of the flake (Fig. 14:8)—and a complete flake with evidence of use around most of its perimeter, with no actual retouching.
The flint items recovered from the excavation show that only limited local knapping was carried out at the site, without the use of complex technologies, such as  the production of tabular scrapers or Canaanite technology. It thus seems that the flints were knapped for domestic use and to answer immediate needs.
Table 1. Flint items
Primary flakes
'Naturally' backed items
The excavation is the first to uncover remains of a proto-historic settlement inside Moshav Zippori, thus contributing to the research on the pattern of ancient settlements in the Nahal Zippori basin. Despite the site’s limited excavation, it appears that the settlement existed for a rather long period of time, as it yielded two construction phases. The curved wall found in the excavation is reminiscent of a wall of a capsule-shaped building of a type that is very common at Early Bronze I sites in the vicinity of Nahal Zippori in particular (Khalaily, Milevski and Getzov 2009: Fig 11; Barzilai 2010: Fig. 4; Milevski and Getzov 2014: Fig. 18) and in the Southern Levant in general (Braun 1997: Fig. 5.2; Eisenberg et al. 2001: Plan 2.1; Golani 2003: Plan 2.3; Khalaily 2004: Plan 3; Getzov and Barzilai 2011: Fig. 11; van den Brink 2014: Fig. 3; Elad and Paz 2018: Fig. 7; Segal 2019: Fig. 5); however, only a small section of this wall was discovered, making it impossible to reconstruct the building’s plan. The preservation of the stone courses of the wall and the absence of collapsed stones suggest that most of the construction consisted of mud bricks that were laid on a stone foundation. The pottery, stone tools and flint items indicate that the site used mainly readily available raw materials and had no distant trade connections, except for a limited trade in raw materials such as basalt and pottery (see Appendix: Table 1:30). Based on the ceramic finds, this site can be associated with the site found at ‘En Zippori, whether it dates from the Early Chalcolithic period or Early Bronze Age I (See Appendix). It may have been a satellite site of the settlement at ‘En Zippori, or part of its agricultural hinterland. Further studies of the finds from ‘En Zippori will shed additional light on the connection between the sites.