Intermediate Bronze Age
A burial cave (height 1.2 m, Figs. 2, 3) that was hewn in soft qirton bedrock was discovered in Square 2 of Area C, below a layer of modern construction debris (up to 2 m thick). The cave’s round opening (diam. c. 0.6 m) was in the northern side and led to a hewn shaft that opened into the cave (diam. 1.2 m, depth 0.7 m), which had two semicircular burial cells (diam. 2.0–2.4 m). The cave had been plundered in antiquity and was filled with silt that contained a few potsherds from the Intermediate Bronze Age. Depressions resulting from water erosion (Fig. 4) were discovered on the surface in Square 1; these were overlain with a layer of small fieldstones and brown soil that contained potsherds from the Intermediate Bronze Age.
A depression (4 × 8 m; Fig. 5) hewn in soft qirton bedrock was exposed in Square 7, in the southeastern corner of Area A; retaining walls built of nari fieldstones were built along its western and eastern sides. The western wall (W132), oriented north–south, was founded on top the qirton bedrock and situated next to the depression’s side (Fig. 6).
A floor of crushed chalk (L131) that was founded on the qirton bedrock and on a layer of light gray soil was discovered between the walls and the hewn vertical bedrock in the east. The floor bedding contained fragments of pottery vessels that dated to the Late Bronze and Iron Ages, including fragments of Cypriot wares and decorated potsherds; crushed pottery vessels from the same periods that were possibly a result of collapse, were found on the floor (Fig. 7).
Twelve rectangular pit graves that were covered with piles of earth and fieldstones (length 1.4–1.6 m, width 0.6–0.7 m, height above ground level c. 0.5 m; Fig. 8) were exposed in Squares 4–7 of Area A. Most of the graves were dug in the upper layer of soil and several were hewn in the qirton bedrock, without a uniform direction of the tombs. Burial offerings were not discovered, except for a single lekythos (Fig. 9).
Part of a pottery workshop that included a kiln and a storeroom for raw materials was exposed in Squares 5 and 6 of Area A.
Kiln. The installation belongs to the two-story round kiln type that is composed of two units: a firebox and an upper cell for placing the vessels. The firebox (inner diam. 1.8 m, outer diam. 2.4 m; Fig. 10) was built of nari and partly preserved a single course high. The stokehole was set in the firebox’s northern side. A column of nari that supported the floor of the upper cell was set in the center of the kiln. Signs of the intense heat from the fire were visible on the column and the sides of the firebox. Two large rocks were incorporated in the southern side of the firebox, above which was the opening to the upper chamber. The tamped earth and small fieldstones floor of the firebox was overlain with crushed potsherds that dated to the Hellenistic period.
Storeroom. The storeroom was located to the west of the kiln (Fig. 11). Its northern and western sides were delimited by a row of small fieldstones, whereas its eastern and southern sides were hewn in the chalk bedrock. Marl, used as a raw material in the manufacture of pottery vessels, was found on the storeroom’s bedrock floor.
Tombs. Six pit graves, damaged by modern development work, were discovered below a layer of construction debris (thickness c. 2 m) in Square 3 of Area C. The tombs, hewn in soft qirton bedrock, were aligned east–west and northeast-southwest (length 1.6–2.2 m, width c. 0.7 m, depth c. 0.7 m; Fig 12). A kind of channel that penetrated below the side of the grave (width c. 0. 3 m, depth 0.4 m; Fig. 13) was found at the bottom of three of the tombs. Several potsherds, dating to the Roman and Persian periods and Intermediate Bronze Age, were collected in some of the tombs, all of which were found looted. The tombs were dated to the Roman period, based on their shape and the ceramic finds.
Enclosure Wall. An enclosure wall, founded on qirton bedrock and preserved a single course high (exposed length c. 12 m, width 1.5–2.4 m; Figs. 14–17) was uncovered along the northeastern edge of the tell (Area B, Square 1; Area A, Squares 1–4; Fig. 14). The wall was built of two rows of medium and large qirton and nari stones with a core of small fieldstones and gray soil that contained potsherds from the Roman period. It seems that the wall encircled the tell and it is assumed that it separated the tell from the farmland located to its north and west.