Phase 1. Architectural remains of Phase 1 were visible on the surface prior to the excavation. Three dry-construction alignments of field stones set in riverbed gravel and loess sediment were excavated (W10–W12). Walls 10 and 12 are single course alignments, while W11 is slightly more substantial. No spatial or other relationship was noted between them.
Wall 12 is constructed of two rows of rectangular stones of roughly the same size, set on an east–west axis. The absence of collapsed stones indicates that the wall was never any higher. A large boulder is set 0.3 m north of it. Wall 10 is a loose alignment of stones set on a northwest–southeast axis. The largest rock, in the center of this alignment, is roughly triangular. The heterogeneous shape and size of the stones negates past existence of a second course. Wall 11 is constructed of rocks of various sizes, built on an east–west axis, with a slight inclination to the north at its westernmost part. Three large stones placed side by side are integrated in the construction of the wall, with small rocks on either side of them (Fig. 3). Two courses were preserved in the western section of the wall, but its original height did not exceed that of the three stones (height 0.5–0.6 m). No wall was found north of W11 that could have delimited a built unit. Natural, virgin sediment was reached at 0.27 m below the surface. Material finds include flint items (Yegorov, below) and few non-diagnostic pottery sherds.
Phase 2. This phase presents a typical ephemeral winter Bedouin camp site. Dark patches of soil, drainage channels, and hearths appeared a thin layer (1–5 cm) of thin-grained loess that covered the surface. These finds, taken in conjunction with a few stones that were added to the pre-existing walls and a single installation, indicate the activity areas, the nature of the settlement, and the season of occupation.
The excavation area was littered with small field stones. A number of stones were placed adjacent to existing walls, constituting later extensions. These stones were on the surface, while the original construction was partially or entirely covered by sediment. Both ends of W11 were extended by the placement of additional rocks. On the east, they sat above a layer of 0.1 m accumulated organic material. Rocks were also added to W12 and placed along the large boulder north of this wall.
A single architectural element, a small round installation, is attributed to this phase (L118; Fig. 4). The installation was built on top of an accumulated layer of sediment, rich with organic material, and was loosely constructed of three courses of stones of variable sizes. A slightly worked stone that functioned as an anvil was incorporated in the top course (Abadi-Reiss, below). Below the upper courses, the inner dimensions of the installation expanded to 0.75 × 1.00 m. Some of the Bedouin workers suggested that this installation served as a pen for young animals. The majority of kidding takes place in winter (Ben-David and Orion 1998:189). The identification of the site as a winter camp site (see below) therefore suggests that Installation 118 may have been a pen for kids. Similar small corrals have been identified in winter camps in southern Jordan (Banning and Köhler-Rollefson 1992:189).
Dark patches of soil containing a mixture of ash, scorched stones and goat droppings were found north of W11 (L109, B1009; accumulation depth 0.11 m), 2 m south of W11 (L123; depth 7 cm) and surrounding the installation (L117; depth 0.17 m). These patches vary in size from roughly 1 sq m (L123) to 50 sq m (unexcavated area south and east of L117).
Three drainage channels were found in L110, L119 and L124 (length c. 2 m, average depth 4 cm; Fig. 5) appeared just below the surface.They were oriented on a north–south axis, following the natural inclination of the terrain. Two of the channels (L119, L124) form an almost continuous line, although a slight difference in orientation suggests that they did not coexist. Avni (1998) noted similar shallow drainage channels running along the back of tents in abandoned camp sites. Saidel recognized a similar phenomenon in southern Jordan (length of channels: 3–9 m; Saidel 2000:547), while Banning and Köhler-Rollefson (1992:189) interpreted similar channels (length 7 and 9 m) as surrounding winter camps. The channels at the site were only a couple of meters long and therefore probably marked the back of tents, rather than larger areas or the entire encampment.
Twelve hearths were excavated (Fig. 6). Except for one hearth (L141), which was lined with stones, they were depressions in the ground (depth 10 cm, average diam. 0.6 m). All hearths were filled with ash, and two (L141, L142) contained charred twigs. A cluster of eight hearths was found in L124, and L123 comprised a cluster of three, including Hearth 141; clearly, they did were not in use simultaneously. One hearth (L136) was placed on a drainage channel, and another (L135) is no more than 0.3 m from Channel 124. These locations indicate a subtle stratification within Phase 2. As none of the hearths exceed a diameter of 1 m, it is apparent that the central cooking hearth was not found. In the Bedouin Ethnoarchaeological Survey Project, Saidel defined two types of hearths: ‘basin’ hearths, which are circular, cut into the ground and, he suggests, served for heating; and ‘surface’ hearths, which are constructed above ground, and were used for cooking (Saidel 2000:575). All the hearths at the site are of the ‘basin’ type. Charcoal samples from Hearths 141 (RTK#6655.1) and 142 (RTK#6656) were dated at the Weitzman Institute. With the radiocarbon results above the normal level, these hearths postdate 1950.
A total of 26 ceramic sherds of jars and cooking wares were collected. Seven sherds are of Gaza Ware, among them a rim of a water jug of the Delu type (Israel 2006:83; Fig. 7:1), which is the only diagnostic sherd found. Other finds were glass shards, several metal items, woven woolen textile, modern machine-made cloth, a bead (Fig. 7:2) and bone fragments. The metal finds form an eclectic assemblage. Most of them are thin, small pieces of sheet metal, most likely parts of various tin containers; the remainder include wires, a key and a shaving blade.
The Flint Assemblage (Table 1)
Dmitry Yegorov
Debitage. A small number of knapped flint artifacts were collected during the excavation. They were manufactured from light brown, grey or dark beige medium-grained flint found in the vicinity of the site. More than a third of the artifacts are patinated, with signs of post-depositional weathering. No standardization was visible in the production of the blanks. Flakes and blades were probably detached by direct percussion with a hard hammer. Most were used for ad-hoc tool manufacturing. Five flakes bear signs of thermal damage with cracks or potlids. Three blades are broken.
Cores. The cores, which are exhausted and amorphous, were used for flake production.
Tools. More than 90% of the tools were produced on flakes. The majority are scrapers, retouched flakes, notches and denticulates (Fig. 8). Most of the scrapers (four side scrapers and two end scrapers) were made on flakes. Two other end scrapers were fashioned on blade fragments. The assemblage also includes two fragments of retouched blades, one truncation and a small group of borers.
Table 1. The composition of the flint assemblage



% of Group

% of Assemblage









Total debris








Primary Elements








Ridge Blades




Burin Spalls




Total debitage
















Ret. Blades




Ret. Flakes








Notches and Denticulates




Total tools








Total assemblage





Ground Stone Tools
Yael ‘Abadi-Reiss
Fragments of two lower slabs of grinding stones, a multi-functional tool and a spindle whorl constitute the ground stone tool assemblage. All were found on the surface, hence ascribed to the second occupation phase at the site.
One grinding stone (L112; Fig. 9:1) comprises two joining fragments. Its working surface is flat and smooth as a result of extended use, unlike its other surfaces. It is made of granite, which is not found in the vicinity of Nahal Loz, although its origin is most likely in the Negev. The second grinding stone was made of limestone (Fig. 9:2). The working surface is mildly concave and shows only slight evidence of grinding. The other surfaces are roughly shaped. This stone is roughly oval and resembles Type 6 of Wright’s type-list (Wright 1992).
An elongated limestone block with a square section, broken at one end, may have served originally as a rare type of upper grinding stone (Fig. 9:3). The working surface is flat and even, the other surfaces are relatively smooth, with only a few scars. Subsequent reuse of the stone into an anvil is indicated by a cupmark that resulted from pounding on the working surface.
The fourth stone tool is a discoid limestone spindle whorl with a bi-conical perforation (Fig. 9:4; Wright 1992: Type 108). The whorl shows signs of wear from the string and traces of orange dye on the flat surfaces.
All four artifacts are of types that did not change for millennia, and cannot be attributed to a specific period. The raw materials—limestone and granite from the vicinity of the site and slightly further away—are typical of ground stone assemblages.
Assaf Peretz
A single cartridge (casing) was found in the excavation (L129, B1038): a 0.303 inch (0.771 cm) diameter bullet shell, Type VI of the .303 Inch British Service Ammunition. This type was made for the British army in 1915 by Winchester Manufacturers, usually for bullets of Enfield rifles (Edwards 2011:17–18, 125). The strike on the primer shows that the bullet was fired.
Two phases were identified at the site. The character of the earlier settlement is unclear. The architectural remains consist of segments of single course stone alignments, into which large and irregular stones are integrated. One stone alignment (W11; Fig. 3) may have served as part of a structure, whose date and use remain unknown.
The later phase consists of a seasonal camp site, whose location—on a wadi terrace, near a second level tributary, slightly lower than the surrounding peaks and therefore protected from the cold northwestern winter winds—identifies as a winter camp. Haiman (1986) suggests that camp site placement may also be related to accessible agricultural land. The overlapping drainage channels, multiple hearths and layers of organic material between and below the stones of Installation 118 and below the stones that were used to extend W11, suggest that the site was abandoned and reoccupied several times, with slight alterations and adaptations over the years.
Winter tents are set on a north–south axis and open to the east, thus drainage channels serve to identify the western perimeters of the tents. The placement of the hearths, north and west of the drainage channels—i.e. to the north and behind the tents rather than in the usual location in front or within them—and the placement of some hearths over drainage channels, reinforce the notion that the site was active over several years. The location of the site and other data correspond with ethnographic records which state that Bedouin tend to return to winter camp sites, at times with several years elapsing between visits (Bar-Zvi and Ben-David 1978:117–119).
The material finds point to recent use of the site by local Bedouins. This conclusion is reinforced by the textiles, the 14C dates and the Gaza Ware sherds. The scatter pattern of the debris, most likely attributed to cleaning and disposal while the camp was active (Simms 1988:207–208) does not allow reconstruction of activity areas.
The camp site may be attributed to the Serahin tribes of the el-Azāzma confederation, who occupied the area until 1982 (Avni 1998; Bailey 1980:72–79). The excavated area and the identification of two tent sites accords with the results of the survey undertaken by Avni (1998), in which no large campsites were located.