Area A yielded a farmhouse (13 × 16 m; Figs. 2, 3). On its southern side was a row of three rooms (L107, L108, L134). To the northeast of the rooms was a main courtyard (L109), extending almost the entire width of the building. In the northwest part of the structure was a smaller, rectangular courtyard (L133) with a well (L126; diam. 2 m, depth 25 m; Fig. 4). The east side of the farmhouse was poorly preserved due to infrastructure work conducted in the 1990s prior to building a new neighborhood.
The building’s walls (W1–W7, W10–W13, W15, W17, W21) were constructed of roughly hewn medium-sized stones, mostly of limestone but some made of flint, interspersed with small fieldstones. The foundations of several of the walls (W17, W21, W22; width 0.5–0.6 m) were constructed of small fieldstones. Most of the building was preserved to a height of three courses.
Rooms 107 and 108 were of similar dimensions, and it seems that their only access was via the main courtyard. Room 134 is larger, and apparently had two entrances, one from each courtyard. Floors were preserved only in Courtyard 109 and in Room 107; an eighteenth-century CE coin (L139, B1070) was found under the floor in Room 107. The building’s walls were constructed over the rubble extracted while digging the well, indicating that the well was dug first, then the courtyard surrounding it, and only then was the rest of the farmhouse built. Black Gaza Ware potsherds were recovered from deep inside the rubble removed from the well. These—bowl (Fig. 5:1) and a jug (Fig. 5:3)—date the construction of the well to the Ottoman period.
Area B yielded two rooms (L202, L213; Figs. 6, 7), which remain from a building: the two long walls (W51/W55, W53; width 0.5 m) continued northward and seem to have delimited another room, of which only the southern end survived; the southern wall (W56; width 0.5 m) extends eastward, and although no parallel wall survived, it suggests that the building continued eastward. The walls were built of roughly dressed medium-sized stones, mostly from limestone, and small fieldstones. The foundations of several of the walls were built of small and medium-sized fieldstones. In Room 213, an entrance opening was preserved in the north part of the east wall (W55). The entrance to Room 202 was missing, but it may have been in the south part of the east wall (W51), where the wall did not survive, since all the other walls were preserved above the height of the floor without any opening. Both rooms retained a tamped-earth floor. A white plaster surface (L214), probably part of an installation that did not survive, was found to the east of Room 213. Like the farmhouse in Area A, the building and its immediate surroundings yielded a couple of Gaza Ware potsherds from the Ottoman period: a bowl (Fig. 5:2) and a jar (Fig. 5:3). Likewise, the width of the walls, the construction technique and the room dimensions in the two buildings were similar.
Area C yielded a small room (3.5 × 4.0 m; Figs. 8, 9), probably part of a larger building which did not survive. The room’s walls (W76, W77, W80, W81; width 0.7 m) were built of a single row of large, dressed limestones and two rows of small and medium-sized stream pebbles. An opening in W80 with a single step led down into the room. Two phases were identified in the room’s floors and installations. A floor (L310), a tabun (L302) and two walls (W78, W79) enclosing the tabun were ascribed to the early phase. In the later phase, the floor was raised (L307), and a new tabun (L308) was installed, which was in use along with Tabun L302. The floors in both phases comprised temped earth and ash. Numerous tabun fragments and a large quantity of ash were found in the southwest of the room, suggesting that additional tabuns may have been installed in this part of the room. The small, solidly built room, the tabuns and the floor level, which was below the surface level, all indicate efforts to conserve heat, suggesting that the activity that took place there was associated with cooking.
Several potsherds dating mainly from the Byzantine period were recovered in this area: a cup (Fig. 10:1), two cooking casseroles (Fig. 10:2, 3), a lid (Fig. 10:4) and bag-shaped jars (Fig. 10:5, 6). Two Early Islamic bag-shaped jars were also found (Fig. 10:7, 8). It thus seems that the structure was in use during the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods.
The buildings attest to agricultural activity in the region during two periods. The building in Area C is associated with the agricultural hinterland of Be’er Shevaʻ in the late Byzantine – early Umayyad period. Areas A and B seem to attest to agricultural activity in the region even before the rebuilding of Be’er Shevaʻ at the beginning of the twentieth century.