During March 2007, a salvage excavation was conducted at 46 Qedem Street in Shoham (Permit No. A-5066; map ref. 195416–50/655548–66), after ancient remains were discovered while preparing a lot for construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the property owner, Mr. Z. Amasis, was directed by O. Segal, with the assistance of E. Bachar (administration), A. Hajian (surveying and drafting), L. Yihye (GPS), T. Sagiv (field photography) and M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing).
The southeastern side of the excavation area (220 sq m) is adjacent to a site that had been excavated in 1999 (Neighborhood 44; Permit No. A-3119) and where five settlement strata that dated to the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad and Abbasid periods were revealed. During the preparation of the building lot for construction, layers of soil, including settlement strata, were deliberately removed to a depth of c. 2 m and the upper bedrock level was damaged. Rock-cuttings from the Early Roman period were documented in the excavation.
Seven circular rock-cuttings in soft chalk bedrock (diam. 1.5–4.0 m, max. depth 1 m; Figs. 1, 2), which contained loose brown soil mixed with small and medium fieldstones and numerous potsherds and animal bones, were exposed. The upper part of the rock-cuttings was destroyed and it is unclear if they were connected. What appears to be a step (height c. 0.4 m) that led to an upper structure, which did not survive, was discerned in one of the rock-cuttings (L103) on the eastern side. Three strata of brown soil, mixed with potsherds and animal bones, were exposed in the southern part of the excavation; two of the strata were next to a cement wall and just a thin layer of the third stratum was preserved. The ceramic finds recovered from the rock-cuttings dated to the time of the Second Temple (first century BCE–first century CE) and included mostly storage vessels, among them a krater (Fig. 3:2), jars (Fig. 3:3–11) and jugs (Fig. 3:12), as well as a few cooking pot rims (Fig. 3:1).
Based on the size of the rock-cuttings and the large proportion of storage vessels among the ceramic finds they contained, it seems that the rock-cuttings were part of storerooms in buildings, whose upper structures were completely destroyed. These rooms belonged to the contemporary settlement that existed at the site. The remains are consistent with the contemporary remains that were exposed in the previous excavation at the site (Permit No. A-3119), which included rooms for wine fermentation, storerooms for oil, silos, ritual baths (miqwa’ot) and a columbarium (this information is based on the report submitted to the contractor).