Nahal Soreq Sites
(1) Map ref. 219095/634301. Farming terraces planted with fruit trees that are now dried; it seems that they belonged to the Arab village of Lifta. The largest of the terraces (c. 10×20 m) has a retaining wall built of five to six stone courses. A few fragments of pottery vessels, dating to the Byzantine period, were scattered on the surface; they had probably washed down the slope.
(2) Map ref. 219042/634426. Remains of a farming terrace (length 100 m, width 4–5 m) along the southern slope of the stream. Mechanical equipment had damaged the upper part of the terrace. The retaining wall was built of different size stones (0.1–0.3×0.1–0.5 m).
(3) Map ref. 218986/634377. A farming terrace located on the slope south of the stream.
(4) Map ref. 218078/633977. A farming terrace that extends to the foot of the slope, south of the stream. The paving of the road damaged the terrace and the visible retaining wall was built at a slight angle with the incline of the slope. Piled behind it is a stone clearance that was meant to facilitate the percolation of water (Fig. 2).
(5) Map ref. 218052/634142. A rock-hewn cave dwelling (3.2×4.0 m, height c. 1.6 m; Fig. 3) used by shepherds, located on a slope that descends northward. Two niches are hewn in the southern side.
(6) Map ref. 217991/634245. Farming terraces spread across c. 50 dunams on the southern slope of the stream. The retaining walls stand eight–ten courses high (Fig. 4).
(7) Map ref. 217144/634444. A hewn frame (0.8×0.8 m, depth 0.2 m; Fig. 5) in a bedrock cliff (height 3.6 m) on the slope south of the stream.An opening (0.4×0.4 m) of a niche (depth 0.32 m) is hewn in the middle of the frame.It is unclear what the rock-cutting was intended for (a burial? a marker?). A retaining wall of a farming terrace is situated above the bedrock outcrop.
(8) Map ref. 216737/634416.Two buildings, whose walls have partially collapsed, stand on an artificial terrace that was constructed on the slope south of the stream (Figs. 6, 7).Two pits (cisterns?) and an animal pen (0.5 dunam) surrounded by a stone enclosure wall were located alongside the buildings. It seems that the buildings were erected in the Ottoman period next to cultivation plots.
(9) Map ref. 216691/634442.An opening (width 1.2 m) of a rock-hewn cave, found filled with debris, on the slope south of the stream.The cave was apparently used as an animal pen or for storage and may be connected to Site 8, located c. 50 m to the east.
(10) Map ref. 218976/634292. A single structure on the slope south of the stream; around it are the remains of buildings that were damaged during the installation of a sewer line (Fig. 8). In the past, Z. Greenhut had proposed to date the building, standing c. 10 m high, to the Crusader period (per. comm.). The walls of the structure are built of large, neatly dressed stones. Its opening, set in the eastern wall (Fig. 9), leads to a square hall whose vault was preserved; it supported either the roof level or a second story.
(11) Map ref. 217720/634095. Remains of farming terraces. An exposed retaining wall of a farming terrace is visible (length 13–15 m).
(12) Map ref. 217561/634338. A limekiln (diam. 5 m, depth c. 4 m) lined with stones on the slope south of the stream (Fig. 10); twelve courses of the stone lining on its side are visible. West of the kiln were the remains of a rock-hewn channel that was used to regulate the amount of air flowing into the kiln. The waste removed from the kiln can be seen to the east and north of the channel.
(13) Map ref. 217494/634444. A winepress hewn on bedrock outcrop that appears to be dressed (Fig. 11). A rectangular treading floor (1.62×2.40 m) is connected to an elliptical collecting vat (0.36×1.10 m, depth c. 0.4 m) by way of three shallow channels.
(14) Map ref. 217460/634453. Three rectangular recesses (0.4×0.6 m, depth c. 0.2 m) cut in a bedrock outcrop that is hewn vertically. These were probably used to secure the beams in an olive press (Fig. 12). A circular pit (diam. c. 0.8 m), hewn next to the bedrock outcrop, was found covered with debris.
(15, 16) Map ref. 217549/634404. A farming terrace and four stone clearance heaps on the northern slope.
(17) Map ref. 217707/634647. Two watchman’s huts (height 3–5 m), 30 m apart, were constructed at the foot of the slope north of the stream. The huts were built of medium-sized fieldstones. The upper part of the eastern hut collapsed in the direction of the wadi (Fig. 13). The opening (Fig. 14) of the western hut was preserved in its eastern wall. Cultivation plots and stone clearance heaps on bedrock outcrops are visible between the two watchman’s huts.
(18) Map ref. 217213/634850. Several stone clearance heaps (diam. up to 10 m) situated on the fringes of an area suitable for cultivation (Fig. 15).
(19) Map ref. 217091/635043. A fence or the wall of an animal pen that was built of fieldstones to a height of three–five courses (Fig. 16). These remains are located on the edge of land that had previously been used for cultivation and farming terraces, whose retaining walls have survived, are visible.
(20) Map ref. 217415/634780.
A large farming terrace (c. 3 dunams) on the northern slope that belongs to an extensive complex of farming terraces, which extends farther up the slope (Fig. 17).The collapse of the terrace’s retaining wall (Fig. 18) allowed observing its construction manner, which consisted of a wall, built of large fieldstones in the front, with fieldstones that facilitated the drainage of water running down the slope piled behind it.
(21) Map ref. 217216/634614. A burial cave located on the slope north of the stream, whose opening was hewn in a vertical bedrock outcrop (height 1.4 m).
A rectangular frame (0.8×1.8 m; Fig. 19) was cut around the opening, which was apparently circular. The cave is presently filled with debris.
Horbat Bet Telem (map ref. 216436/634675). The remains of a ruin or a farmstead situated at the foot of the slope, west of the stream (Fig. 20); the site had previously been documented (I. Finkelstein and I. Magen, eds. 1993. Archaeological Survey of the Hill Country of Benjamin. Jerusalem, p. 226, Site No. 302; Permit No. A-5302).Visible within the ruin are the remains of buildings, deep rock-hewn shafts that were intended to increase the volume of output from the seep springs that flow in the area, water channels (Fig. 21), two water reservoirs and at the foot of them—cultivation plots. Ancient building stones in secondary use are incorporated in the western wall of the large pool (Fig. 22).