During July 2006, a trial excavation was conducted within the precincts of Tel Jukhadar and Khan Jukhadar antiquities sites, north of Ramat Magshimim in the Golan Heights (Permit No. A-4848*; map ref. NIG 279775/759130; OIG 229775/259130), prior to the widening of Highway 98. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and at the request of the Jewish National Fund, was directed by O. Zingboym, with the assistance of Y. Ya’aqoby (administration) and laborers from Buq‘ata.
The site of Jukhadar and the adjacent khan were described by G. Schumacher in his book on the Golan (The Jaulan, 1888, p. 184). It was investigated in the emergency survey of the Golan, conducted by C. Epstein and S. Gutmann (Judaea, Samaria and the Golan, Archaeological Survey 1967-1968, Jerusalem, 1972, p. 276). At the beginning of the 1970s, D. Urman conducted an extensive excavation at the site, revealing a large settlement from the Roman and Byzantine periods, as well as potsherds whose dates ranged from the Bronze Age until the Mamluk period (License No. K2/1969; HA 26:5; 30:3; 33:11–12 [Hebrew]). The khan, dating to the Mamluk period, has not been excavated to date.
The current excavation was conducted in a flat area of Dalawa basalt that descends gently to the southeast. Prior to the excavation, a probe conducted with the aid of mechanical equipment exposed potsherds that dated to the Roman and Byzantine periods, but none from the Mamluk period were found.
Two squares were opened east of Highway 90, in an area between the Roman-Byzantine site and the khan (Fig. 1). No architectural remains were found, yet ceramics that ranged in date from the Persian to the Mamluk periods (sixth century BCE–fourteenth century CE) were collected, with a considerable amount of potsherds from the Hellenistic to the Byzantine periods (second century BCE–seventh century CE).
It appears that the excavation area is located outside the limits of the Jukhadar site and beyond the area of the Mamluk khan. Based on a topographic analysis of the region, it was determined that ancient roads dating from the biblical period until the modern era probably ran through the area between the khan and Giv‘at Orha. No remains of a road were found in the limited excavation and the origin of the recovered potsherds was not ascertained.