Seven spots were examined; five devoid of finds (two were ascertained to be natural bedrock cavities) and two were ancient sites (A3, A7; Fig. 2).
A3. A probe trench about midway along the planned route of the pipeline had cut a rectangular installation hewn in the soft qirton bedrock (L105; 0.6×2.0 m, depth c. 1.4 m; Fig. 3). The upper edges of the installation, whose purpose is unclear, reached the surface. At the bottom of the installation, beneath a layer of brown alluvium, several fieldstones and a few worn potsherds that dated to the end of the Roman period (not drawn) were discovered.
A7. An installation (3×3 m, 1.5 m below surface; Fig. 4), whose eastern and western edges were hewn and smoothed, was exposed. Brown alluvium soil, mixed with small and medium fieldstones, was excavated inside the installation, on its northern and southern sides. The smoothed floor of the installation was overlain with fieldstone collapse (L106), probably that of a wall that stood above the installation. A few worn potsherds of ribbed jars that could not be dated precisely were discovered in the installation. The purpose of the installation is unclear; it may have been part of a building that was combined with a superstructure above a hewn bottom level, perhaps a store room.
Rock-hewn cupmarks and basins were excavated in four bedrock surfaces (Fig. 5).
B1. Seventy-eight cupmarks and one basin are hewn in a wide bedrock surface at the bottom of the hill (Figs. 6, 7). The cupmarks are divided into three types: flat and shallow with a round, rectangular or sandal-shaped outline; conical (depth c. 0.15 m); and cylindrical (max. depth 0.3 m). The basin (diam. 0.9 m, depth 0.6 m) was located at the northwestern end of the bedrock.
Flint nodules were incorporated in the bottom part of the qirton bedrock. A few flint flakes, probably debitage, were found.
B2. Seven round cupmarks (diam. 0.2–0.4 m, depth 0.1–0.3 m; Figs. 8, 9) were hewn in a bedrock surface in the center of the hill, northeast of B1.
B3. Two round adjacent cupmarks (diam. c. 0.5 m, depth 0.2 m; Figs. 8, 10) were discovered on a bedrock surface, northeast of B2.
B4. A basin (diam. 1 m, depth 0.75 m) and a cupmark alongside it (diam. 0.4 m, depth 0.22 m; Figs. 8, 11) were hewn in a bedrock surface. Northwest of these were rock-cuttings of another cupmark or basin (diam. 0.9 m, depth c. 5 cm) that appears to have been incompletely hewn. This rock also contained lumps of flint.
Opposite Horbat Hadat, in the center of a slope descending southward, two adjacent rock-hewn caves (C1 in the west, C2 in the east; Fig. 12) and rock-hewn installations (C3; Fig. 12) were discerned.
C1. A high flat boulder and an entrance threshold (height c. 0.6 m) were discovered below the cave opening that faced north. Part of a step that led into a standing pit survived beyond the boulder. The interior of the cave was rectangular (2.0×2.6 m) and continued to the east and west. The sides of the cave were manually smoothed; however, traces of mold and mildew indicate that water was seeping in from the ceiling. Signs of a bedrock ledge collapse were visible in the eastern and western sides of the cave, which were hewn in it. The excavation of brown alluvium (L201; thickness c. 0.5 m) revealed the upper part of an opening that was probably a burial kokh in the middle of the southern side. When it was thought the cave had served for burial, the excavation was suspended and the cave thereafter sealed.
Remains of cooking pots (Fig. 13:1, 2) and a juglet (Fig. 13:3), dating to the Early Roman period were discovered in the middle of the standing pit, as well as an intact Herodian lamp (Fig. 13:4). Evidence of modern antiquities robbery, including remains of clothes, buckets, wax candles and even a rusty pickaxe, was noted.
C2. The cave opening (height c. 1.5 m) had a low threshold. The sides were not nearly as well preserved as those in Cave C1. The eastern and western sides collapsed and the cave’s ceiling had sagged into a kind of shelf (L202) that sloped toward the cave’s interior (2×2 m). The excavation in the cave was suspended due to a suspicion it was used for burial and the cave was sealed.
C3. An installation that consisted of a large basin (diam. 0.8 m, depth 0.75 m) and an adjacent conical cupmark was hewn on a flat high boulder, located northwest and above Cave C1. Four cupmarks – two circular (depth c. 0.1 m) and two rectangular (max. depth 4 cm) – were exposed northeast of the installation.
Remains dating to a variety of periods were discovered in the excavation.Despite the absence of ceramic artifacts, the cupmark surfaces in Areas B and C should be ascribed to the Chalcolithic period. They join other cupmark surfaces (HA-ESI 119, HA-ESI 120), habitation levels (Permit No. A-5551) and a cave (Permit No. A-5666), which were excavated nearby, and point to fairly extensive Chalcolithic activity in the region. The burial caves from the Early Roman period that were discovered in Area C indicate that a Jewish population resided nearby. The region witnessed extensive activity in the Second Temple period, e.g., Khirbat Umm el-‘Umdan, identified with ancient Modi‘in by the excavators, and a large farmhouse with ritual baths to its west (HA-ESI 114:64*–68*, HA-ESI 119).
The remains in Area A were not dated and their function is unclear but the potsherds attest to activity in this region during the Late Roman and Byzantine periods. A church dating to the Byzantine period was excavated at Horbat Hadat (HA 5:17–18; 6:17 [Hebrew]) and it can be assumed that agricultural activity took place during this period in the surrounding region.