During February 2012, a trial excavation was conducted at Qibbuz Sede Eliyahu (Permit No. A- 6418; map ref. 248475/705675), following the discovery of ancient remains by Y. Tepper and prior to the construction of hothouses (Fig. 1). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by Qibbuz Sede Eliyahu, was directed by O. Zingboym (surveying), with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration), W. Atrash (consultation and pottery reading), H. Tahan-Rosen (pottery drawing), H. Khalaily and G. Jaffe (pottery reading) and laborers from Tiberias.
A square (7×7 m; Figs. 2, 3) was opened; a habitation level ascribed to the Early Bronze Age (Stratum III), a level of potsherds from the Roman and Byzantine periods (Stratum II) and a surface layer (stratum I) were discovered.
Stratum III. A layer of small basalt stones (0.4×0.9 m; Fig. 5) on a layer of travertine and a row of small basalt stones and soil (0.34×1.45 m, max. height 0.2 m; Figs. 6, 7). Several potsherds were found, mainly from the Late Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic periods and Early Bronze Age, including a bowl from the Chalcolithic period (Fig. 8:1), a button handle of a bowl from the Late Neolithic period (Fig. 8:2), a base of a bowl from Early Bronze Age I (Fig. 8:3), hole-mouth jars from the Neolithic period (Wadi Rabah; Fig. 8:4, 5), a hole-mouth jar from the Chalcolithic period (Ghassulian; Fig. 8:6), a hole-mouth jar from Early Bronze Age IB (Fig. 8:7), a hole-mouth jar from Early Bronze Age IA (?; Fig. 8:8), a cooking pot (?) from the Chalcolithic period (Fig. 8: 9) and a cooking pot from the Neolithic period (Wadi Rabah; Fig. 8:10). This habitation level was overlaid with alluvium (depth 0.6–0.7 m).
Stratum II (Fig. 4). A layer of brown soil with numerous potsherds from the Roman (first–fourth centuries CE) and Byzantine (fourth–seventh centuries CE) periods.
Stratum I. Surface level. The potsherds gathered dated to the Early Islamic (eighth–ninth centuries CE) and the Mamluk (thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE) periods.
A shallow habitation level was exposed on the bedrock; on the basis of the potsherds it evidently dates to Early Bronze Age I. The more ancient potsherds allude to activity that occurred in the Late Neolithic period. This habitation level was covered by alluvium that dated to the Roman and Byzantine periods. Later potsherds that have no connection to any remains whatsoever were found on the surface.
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