In August 2014, a salvage excavation was conducted at ‘Enav Center in Modi‘in (Permit No. A-7183; map ref. 196715/644396; Fig. 1), prior to work by the Israel Railways. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by J. Marcus, with the assistance of E. Bachar (administration), I. Kornfeld and L. Golan (preliminary antiquities inspection), A. Dagot (GPS), A. Hajian and M. Kunin (surveying), M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing), P. Gendelman (pottery reading), P. Spivak (flint identification) and laborers from Bir al-Maksur and Kafr Manda.
The excavated area was around a bell-shaped cistern (diam. 1.3 m; Figs. 2, 3). Because of safety concerns it was not possible to enter the cistern, or approach the northern side of its opening, and the excavation concentrated therefore in the area surrounding the southern side of the opening.
The cistern and its opening were damaged by a tree that grew into it (min. depth 2.6 m), and the exact diameter of the cistern and its volume remain undefined. A fairly thick layer of plaster covers the inside surface of the cistern. The excavation reached bedrock in the area next to the opening (c. 24 sq m), and a few pottery sherds were collected, among them a bag-shaped jar dating to the fourth century CE (Fig. 4).
Ten flint items were collected. Most of them were fresh and sharp, and were evidently barely disturbed. Eighty percent of the assemblage is flakes. In the absence of any diagnostic items it was impossible to ascribe the assemblage to a particular period or culture.
The bell-shaped cistern is typical of ancient agricultural areas. Such cisterns were used for storing rainwater for agricultural purposes. The ceramic finds that were recovered around the opening indicate activity there in the Byzantine period. Presumably the cistern was in use during this period, but this does not determine the date of its construction.