During October 2011, a trial excavation was conducted at Horbat Turit (South), south of Maker Junction (Permit No. A-6310; map ref. 212700–3005/757496–585), in the wake of the constructing the ‘Akko–Karmi’el railway line. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Israel National Roads Company, was directed by D. Yegorov, with the assistance of Y. Lerer (area supervision and field photography), Y. Ya‘aqoby (administration), A. Shapiro (GPS) and O. Marder (scientific consultation).
Three excavation areas (a total of 225 sq m) were opened. Area A (in the east) and Area B (in the west) were situated c. 80 m apart; Area C was located between them (Fig. 1). Sediments from all the areas were dry-sifted (0.5 cm sieve). The stratigraphic view that emerged in each excavation area was the same, consisting of two main archaeological strata.
Stratum II. The habitation level (thickness 0.2 m; Fig. 2) was located above a layer of medium-sized fieldstones (thickness c. 0.3 m) on top of brown compacted terra rossa soil, devoid of finds (min. thickness 1.5 m). Remains of animal bones, a few stone vessels and c. 4,500 flint items were revealed (Figs. 3, 4). The level can be dated to the Late Pottery Neolithic period on the basis of typological characteristics of the sickle blades that were identified in the assemblage.
Stratum I. Soft brown surface soil mixed with numerous potsherds from the Persian and Byzantine periods. Some of the potsherds penetrated into Stratum II as a result of erosion and modern plowing.
A small section of a habitation level dating to the end of the Pottery Neolithic period, which had been severely damaged by fluvial or agricultural activity, was exposed in the excavation. The location of the site within the system of contemporary sites and its ties to other regions will be investigated and studied in the future.