In November and December 2011, a salvage excavation was conducted at Eshkol Reservoir, Bet Netofa Valley (Permit No. A-6330; map ref 22538–40/74236–8), after damage was caused to antiquities in an area where a reservoir is slated for construction (east of the Eshkol Reservoir and north of National Water Carrier). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Mekorot Company, was directed by Y. Tepper, with the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration), A. Shapiro (GPS and surveying), T. Meltsen (drafting and plans), D. Syon (metal detection), A. Fahima, A. Dalal, A. Liberti, G. Solomon and Y. Sa‘ad (conservation), Y. Shahar (scientific consultation), B. Isaac (epigraphy) and laborers from Kafr Manda and Tiberias.
Four squares were opened, revealing a square building and three inscribed milestones. These served as a station along a paved imperial Roman road in the Lower Galilee, between ‘Akko-Ptolemais and the Roman legion camp at Legio in the second century CE. Two inscriptions date to the reign of Hadrian (second century CE), and one to the time of Constantine the Great (fourth century CE).
Building. The structure (5 × 5 m; Fig. 1) was built of dressed limestone blocks; two courses of its outer face survived. The inside of the building’s walls, preserved to a height of four courses, were somewhat haphazardly constructed of small stones. No doorway was found. An ashlar stone was found in the fill inside the building. The outer part of the stone was convex. Remains of a relief are visible, possibly depicting an animal.
Milestone Station. Three milestones and three large ashlar stones arranged in a line running from south to north were found to the west of the building. Two ashlar stones (0.25 × 1.00 × 1.00 m) were located c. 4 m west of the building, and a complete milestone was found next to them. The upper part of the milestone was a round column, while its bottom part was square (total height c. 1.9 m; Fig. 2). A five-line Greek inscription was engraved on the upper part of the stone. The inscription was deciphered and dated to the reign of Constantine the Great (fourth decade of the fourth century CE). Another milestone base of similar dimensions was found c. 3 m to the north. Two other milestones were located c. 7 m to the north of the building: the first was damaged by mechanical equipment prior to the excavation; the second was found whole (total height c. 2.5 m). A five-line Latin inscription was identified on the upper part of the latter milestone. The inscription dates to the reign of Hadrian (third decade of the second century CE). In addition, a fragment of a column with signs of a contemporary inscription was found, probably belonging to a third milestone. The ceramic artifacts from the excavation are scant, but date to the Roman and Byzantine periods.