In May 2012, a trial excavation was conducted at the ‘Ubeidiya site (Permit No. A-6491; map ref. 252574–756/732794–3063) after the discovery of antiquities in trial sections along a planned route for conveying treated waste water. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the contractor, was directed by A. Mokary (photography), with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration), V. Essman (surveying), H. Tahan-Rsen (pottery drawing), D.T. Ariel (numismatics), W. Atrash (scientific consultation) and laborers from Tiberias.
The excavation area was located within the precincts of the Tel ‘Ubeidiya prehistoric site and along the western fringes of the tell. Numerous excavations and surveys were conducted in the vicinity in the past due to the archaeological importance of the site. Excavations at the prehistoric site exposed material culture from the Lower Paleolithic period; excavations on the tell revealed remains from the following periods: Early and Late Bronze, Iron, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Early Islamic, Crusader, Mamluk and Ottoman.
Eight squares were opened in four excavation areas (A–D; c. 200 sq m; Figs. 1, 2) on either side of an agricultural road connecting Qevuzat Kinneret with Menahemiya, c, 200 m west of the Jordan River.
Area A. A trial area and a probe (depth 2 m) to its south were excavated in clay soil. Apart from several non-diagnostic pottery sherds no archaeological evidence was found.
Area B. Remains of a roadbed built of basalt fragments and river pebbles were exposed east of the agricultural road (Fig. 3). The roadbed lay on sterile clay soil. The road runs along a north–south axis, and was probably part of the Roman road between Tiberias and Bet Sheʽan. Pottery sherds dating to a variety of periods were found above the roadbed: an Iron Age krater (Fig. 4:2), jars from the Hellenistic period, and a bowl (Fig. 4:1) and jar (Fig. 4: 3) from the Roman period. A coin of Antiochus III (198–187 BCE; IAA 146276) was also found.
Area C. Wall remains (W19; Fig. 5) built of limestone fieldstones and running along an east–west axis were exposed west of the agricultural road. Pottery sherds from the Hellenistic and Roman periods were collected in the vicinity of the wall, and a silver tetradrachma dating to the reign of Trajan Decius (249–251 CE; IAA 146275) and minted in Antioch was found to its north. The wall should probably be dated to the Hellenistic period.
Area D. A heap of fieldstones and non-diagnostic pottery body sherds were found.