During August 2008, a salvage excavation was conducted at the site of Khirbat ‘Ara (Permit No. A-5491; map ref. 20787–8/71222–3), prior to development. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by A. Abu Hillal, was directed by A. Masarwa (surveying and drafting), with the assistance of the late S. Ya‘aqov-Jam (administration) and M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing).
The excavation was conducted on the southern slope of the hill where the village of ‘Ara is located, overlooking Nahal ‘Iron. Previous excavations nearby exposed burial caves that dated to the Middle and Late Bronze Ages and the Roman period (HA 7:12–14, 45:12 [Hebrew]) and a dwelling from the Early Islamic period was uncovered (Permit No. A-5268).
A single square was opened. The remains of a wall, built of one row of ashlar stones, without mortar and preserved a single course high, was exposed (W10; min. length 5.2 m, width 0.4 m). The wall, which was oriented east–west, extended beyond the limits of the excavation.
Fragments of pottery vessels, including jars (Fig. 2) that dated to the Byzantine period, were found in the fill between the stones of the wall.
The limited scope of the excavation precluded the determination of the wall’s function.