In June 2013, a salvage excavation was conducted near Hodayah Junction, c. 6 km east of Ashkelon (Permit No. A-6819; map ref. 167072–206/621217–95; Fig. 1), prior to widening Highway 3. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Israel National Roads Company, was directed by V. Lipshits (field photography), with the assistance of D. Igorov (area supervision), Y. Al-‘Amor (administration), M. Kunin (surveying and drafting), D. Varga (consultation), N. Zak (plans) and I. Lidski-Reznikov (pottery drawing). Trial trenches (A. Fraiberg) were dug at the site prior to the excavation.
In Sq B2, a wall (W1; length 6.1 m, width 0.65 m; Fig. 3) was discovered that was founded on hamra soil and built in a north–south direction of limestone bonded with mortar; it was preserved to a height of 0.5 m. A small section of a floor bedding (L113; thickness 7 cm) made of crushed chalk was exposed just east of the wall. It seems this floor bedding was severely damaged as a result of modern infrastructure work. In Sq B4 another wall stump (W2; length 0.9 m, width 0.47 m) was revealed built in a similar manner as W1 and aligned in an east–west direction; it was preserved to a height of 0.3 m. A refuse pit (L100, L106; Fig. 4) was discovered in the eastern part of the square. The ceramic artifacts from the excavation were mostly discovered in the refuse pit and to a lesser extent near W1. They included fragments of Gaza ware dating to the Late Ottoman period, among them small bowls (Fig. 3:1–5), flat bowls (Fig. 5:4–6), a jar (Fig. 5:7), jugs (Fig. 5:8–10) and a juglet (Fig. 5:11). In addition, a small amount of Mamluk-period pottery sherds the was recovered. These are mainly jars with ledge handles and are decorated with a dotted pattern along the neck and handles (Fig. 5:12–14). On the basis of the pottery it seems the remains revealed in the excavation date to the Late Ottoman period and are part of the village of Julis which was situated there.