During September–October 2005, an excavation was conducted near Horbat Hadat in the Buchman Compound at Modi‘in (Permit No. A-4591; map ref. 20123/64330), prior to construction. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by V. Shlomi, with the assistance of E. Bachar (administration), A. Hajian (surveying and drafting), T. Sagiv (field photography), H. Tahan-Rosen (pottery drawing) and O. Marder (flint items).
Stratum III. An accumulation of light gray soil mixed with potsherds and flint items from the Chalcolithic period (thickness 0.5 m) was exposed above the bedrock in Squares A and B.
Stratum II. Two walls (W2, W3; Figs. 3, 4) founded partly on bedrock and partly on soil were exposed in Squares A and B; they were preserved two courses high. It is possible that Wall 2 cut Wall 3. A tamped earth floor (L116, L120) that contained crushed chalk and potsherds was revealed north of the point where the walls met. The floor, which was placed on a bedding of small fieldstones, abutted the two walls. The potsherds on the floor dated mainly to Early Bronze Age I.
Stratum I. This layer was the surface that sloped gently to the southeast. A wall (W1), founded on the bedrock close to the surface, was exposed in Squares A and B. It was built of a row of large fieldstones and probably delimited a farming terrace. Potsherds dating to the Chalcolithic period, as well as ceramic fragments ranging from the Roman period to the modern era, were discovered in this layer.
The ceramic artifacts in the entire excavation area are rich and diverse. They date mainly to the Late Chalcolithic period and Early Bronze Age I, and are probably indicative of the periods during which the site was inhabited. The finds from the Late Chalcolithic period include a round bowl with a painted rim (Fig. 5:1), a V-shaped bowl (Fig. 5:2), a deep krater with a broad thick rim (Fig. 5:3), holemouth jars (Fig. 5:4, 5), goblets (Fig. 5:6, 7), a handle with a triangular cross-section (Fig. 5:8) and a basket handle (Fig. 5:9). The finds ascribed to Early Bronze I include a bowl with a pinched rim (Fig. 6:1), a round bowl (Fig. 6:2), a bowl decorated with a rope pattern (Fig. 6:3), a spouted krater (Fig. 6:4), a jar with an incised rim (Fig. 6:5), a large jar decorated with a rope pattern around the neck (Fig. 6:6), large ledge handles with pinched decorations (Fig. 6:7–9) and a loop handle with an incised decoration and a deep groove running its length (Fig. 6:10).
It seems that the remains in the excavation are part of the eastern fringes of a large site that extends westward and was inhabited at the end of the Chalcolithic period and in Early Bronze Age I (HA-ESI 119
). The hewn basin and cupmarks are part of an extensive complex of rock-cut installations that was discovered in surveys and excavations in the region.