During May 2004, a survey prior to development was conducted in Ramat Bet Shemesh (Permit No. A-4167; map ref. NIG 19825–950/62550–620; OIG 14825–950/12550–620). The survey, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Real Estate Appraisal Company, was directed by A. Nagorsky, A. Nagar, H. Stark and L. Barda (GPS).
The survey, within the precincts of Kh. Fattir, revealed 45 sites (Fig. 1), including building remains, burial caves, rock-hewn and built agricultural installations, stone clearance heaps and terrace walls that indicate the area was used for agricultural and burial activities.
Ruins (12, 18, 27). Site 18 is Kh. Fattir – a settlement from the Roman and Byzantine periods. Remains of two structures, built of dressed stones and fieldstones, were recorded in Site 12 (Fig. 2). The northern building (6 x 12 m), preserved seven courses high (2.2 m), has three elongated rooms. The walls are built of two rows of lime stones, with a core of small stones and lime; the interior face is plastered. Numerous masonry walls were dispersed around the building. The southern structure (12 x 24 m), 15 m south of the northern one, consists of four rooms and its construction resembles that of the northern building. Remains of a two-storey high building were preserved in Site 27. It was built by the monks of the Beit Jimal monastery above a church that had survived by part of its apse. The building surrounds a central courtyard and its walls are constructed from dressed stones.
Winepresses (Sites 2–5, 8, 10, 11, 30). Eight winepresses were identified; four (2, 4, 5, 10) have small treading floors (1.0 x 1.2 m) and rectangular or ovoid collecting vats.
Winepress 2 (Fig. 3) has two conical basins, hewn next to each other. The rock surface around the basins is leveled and a rectangular surface is located next to the right basin.
Site 3 includes two hewn winepresses, adjacent to one another. The northern has an irregular treading floor (1.0–1.5 x 2.0 m); a shallow channel in its center leads to a rectangular collecting vat (0.8 x 1.0 m) on its west. The southern winepress has a large treading floor (3.5 x 3.8 m) and two collecting vats, one to the south (0.5 x 1.0 m) and the second, to the west (0.2 x 0.8 m). A hewn niche for a screw beam is found in the southern wall of Winepress 5. Winepress 8 has a rectangular treading floor with rounded corners (0.2 x 2.5 m, depth 0.3 m), surrounded by three hewn and leveled bedrock surfaces that have an ovoid outline (0.7 x 0.9 m, depth 0.15 m). Winepress 11 consists of a rectangular treading floor (2.0 x 2.5 m) and a collecting vat (1.0 x 1.3 m, depth 0.5 m). Winepress 30 has a rectangular treading floor (1 x 2 m) and from it, a shallow channel (length 0.8 m) leads to a cupmark (diam. 0.4 m). To the west of the winepress, an opening to a soil-filled cave was discovered.
Burial Caves (14–16, 21, 22, 28, 31). Cave 14 (Fig. 4) has a large rectangular courtyard (4 x 8 m) and its east-facing entrance has a hewn frame (0.5 x 0.5 m). Cave 15 has a rectangular entrance (width 0.6 m), covered with vegetation. Cave 16 has two openings and a hewn courtyard (3 x 7 m). The northern opening is set within a double frame (0.5 x 0.5 m) and the circular southern opening (diam. 1 m) has a double rectangular frame.
The openings lead to a burial chamber that contains three standing pits and three arcosolia. Rock-cuttings were discovered along the cave. Caves 21 and 22 have hewn courtyards and their openings are covered with vegetation. Cave 28 has a rectangular courtyard that is covered with stone collapse and soil. Cave 31 has a hewn façade (height 1.6 m) and a rectangular entrance (0.4 x 0.7 m), which is set within a double shallow frame.
Installations (13, 20, 33, 34, 43). Site 13 consists of two installations that were hewn side by side in a bedrock block. The northern has a rectangular surface (0.7 x 1.1 m) whose eastern wall is hewn (height 0.2 m) and the southern has a shallow surface (0.9 x 1.0). Surface 20 has a rectangular outline with rounded corners (2.0 x 2.5 m, depth 0.35 m). Installation 33 has a circular outline (diam. 1 m), built of a single course of medium and large fieldstones. Installation 34 consists of a circular pit (diam. 0.8 m, depth 0.4 m), hewn in the center of a large bedrock surface and surrounded by four cupmarks of various diameters (0.15–0.40 m) that are connected to the pit via hewn channels. Installation 43 has a rectangular shape (3 x 4 m) that consists of thin fieldstone walls. Bedrock in the northeastern corner of the installation’s floor was leveled, but the rest is covered with soil.
Cupmarks (Sites 7, 29, 35) whose shape is conical; three small ones are adjacent to each other (7; diam. 0.15 m) and two other (29, 35; diam. 0.4 m) are bigger.
Well (Site 24; diam. 3 m) whose walls are built of dressed stones and surrounded by a frame of dressed stones and fieldstones (4 x 4 m).
Quarries (Sites 23, 32; each c. 30 sq m). Each of the two has two quarrying steps, where large stones (1.0 x 1.5 m) were hewn. Shallow cupmarks surrounded the quarries.
Water pool (Site 25; 4 x 8 m) is located alongside a copious spring. Its rectangular shape is partitioned into two smaller pools, whose walls are covered with cement and a pipe connected between them. Remains of ashlar-built walls are visible south of the pool and heaps of ashlar stones surround it. The spring compound (150 sq m) is bounded by a wall of large and medium ashlar stones (W26).
Columbarium (1; Fig. 5), mostly destroyed and discerned on surface without its ceiling. Thirteen rectangular niches (0.15 x 0.20 m) had survived in its northern wall and 2—in the southern wall.
Ancient road (38; width 4 m), oriented east–west, is flanked by retaining walls on both sides, built of two rows of fieldstones.
Stone clearance heaps of circular shape (42, 44; diam. 3–4 m) are composed of medium and large fieldstones and surrounded by retaining walls.
Retaining and terrace walls (6, 9, 26, 36, 37, 39, 40, 45) are built on hill slopes in agricultural areas. Potsherds found on the terraces were dated to the Late Roman and Byzantine periods.