Area A. A dark brown earth patch was cleaned, revealing part of a habitation level (5 × 7 m) from the Early Bronze Age that had been damaged by mechanical equipment. Hard, dark gray earth, bearing plaster remains that may evidence a floor and burnt traces indicative of hearths, was exposed. These, together with the thickness (c. 0.3 m) of the accumulated habitation level, indicate temporary occupation in an open area. The finds included a few potsherds from EB Age I, among them two vessel bases (Fig. 1:1, 2) and the rim of a red-slipped jug (Fig. 1:3), as well as a few burnt bones and a bead fragment.


Area B. A well (diam. c. 2 m, depth c. 4 m), which had two phases, was discovered (Figs. 2, 3). In the first phase, the well was excavated and its interior wall was lined with uniform-sized dressed kurkar stones (0.4 × 0.4 m), whereas the exterior wall was built of small kurkar stones that were crudely dressed and bonded with plaster. A pumping installation was added to the well in the second phase, enabling its usage as a saqiye well. An iron link of a chain that was used inside the well (Fig. 4:11) had survived from the installation. A foundation of fieldstones and partially hewn stones that were bonded with gray plaster and belonged to the well was erected to its northeast. The western side of the well’s wall was made thicker in this phase by the addition of fieldstones around the lining of the first phase.


A probe was cut to the south of and adjacent to the well, where its wall had not been thickened in the second phase, to determine when the well was constructed. Pottery fragments, dating from the Byzantine period, were discovered in a fill that was not connected to the well, among them were two rims of Late Roman C bowls (Fig. 4:1, 2), a krater (Fig. 4:5) and the rim of a Gaza jar (Fig. 4:7). Potsherds from the Early Roman period were also found, including the rim of a red-slipped bowl (Fig. 4:3), the base of a Terra Sigilatta bowl (Fig. 4:4) and the rim of cooking pot (Fig. 4:6). Other finds included a carved marble fragment (Fig. 4:10) and a coin of Severus Alexander (222–235 CE; IAA 80506). The second phase of the well’s use should probably be ascribed to the Ottoman period, when simple saqiye wells were common in the region of Ashqelon and Gaza. A jar rim and the spout of a jug (Fig. 4:8, 9), dating to the Ottoman period or later, were discovered inside the well.