During February 2003, an excavation was conducted at Nein (Permit No. A-3843; map ref. NIG 233–4/726–7; OIG 183–4/226–7), prior to construction. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by A. Mokary, with the assistance of A. Hajian (surveying and drafting), H. Tahan (pottery drawing), C. Amit (studio photography), A. Lester (metal artifacts) and D.T. Ariel (numismatics).
Two excavation squares (each 4 × 4 m: Fig. 1) were opened c. 100 m distance from the spring in the center of the village. Building remains from Late Bronze II and the Early Islamic and Mamluk periods, preserved to a maximum of 1 m high, were exposed.
The remains of two walls (W15, W17) of a building that dated to the Mamluk period were uncovered. They were built of roughly hewn limestone and formed a corner that was abutted by a crushed chalk floor (thickness c. 0.1 m). The finds on the floor included fragments of pottery vessels, mostly green-glazed bowls (Fig. 2:1–8). Soils fill that contained building stones and mixed ceramic finds from the Early Islamic and the Mamluk periods was discovered north of W15. This seems to have been a refuse pit that dated to the Mamluk period.
The Early Islamic period is represented by the remains of a north–south oriented wall (W22) that was adjoined by another wall (W16). The two walls were built of limestone and a floor of tamped earth abutted them. A limestone trough (0.65×1.30 m, depth 0.5 m) was discovered on the floor of the building. Parts of a brass scale, including a rod and pieces of chain (Fig. 3), were uncovered next of the trough. The finds on the floor included mostly fragments of black jars decorated with white stripes (Fig. 2:9, 10) that dated to the Umayyad period (mid seventh–eighth centuries CE) and a lamp fragment decorated with an incised grain stalk design (Fig. 2:11) from the Umayyad period. Two illegible bronze coins were discovered on the floor. A follis of Justin II, minted in Constantinople (570/571 CE; IAA 99753) and numerous body fragments of black jars decorated with white stripes that dated to the seventh–eighth centuries CE were found south of W16.
The remains of two walls of a building (W25, W27) that formed a corner were discovered below the layer from the Umayyad period. Above the earthen floor of the building were large amounts of ash and the remains of a tabun (diam. of opening c. 0.55 m, depth c. 0.5 m) that contained a red-slipped bowl (Fig. 2:12), dating to Late Bronze II. Fragments of a store jar (Fig. 2:13) from Late Bronze II were discovered above the floor of the building.