Square 1 (Figs. 1, 2)
Four adjacent parallel walls, oriented north–south (W23, W25, W38, W39), and a single wall aligned east–west (W37), were exposed. Different methods were used for the walls, which were built at different levels; however, their massive construction indicates they were probably part of a structure of defensive nature. The ceramic finds in the square included fragments of bowls from North Africa and Cyprus, dating to the fourth–fifth centuries CE (Fig. 3:3, 8, 9) and an amphora dating to the third–fourth centuries CE (Fig. 3:7). Several fragments of pottery vessels that dated to the end of the Byzantine and the beginning of the Umayyad periods were collected from the surface.
Square 2 (Figs. 4, 5)
Part of a large building that was founded on a layer of soil fill (thickness 0.25 m), deposited on leveled bedrock, was exposed. Two phases were discerned in the building; the early Phase 1 dated to the Byzantine period and the late Phase 2 may have dated to the Abbasid period.
Phase 1. Remains of two walls (W29, W34) were ascribed to this phase. They were built of large semi-dressed stones, with small fieldstones bonded with earth between them. The walls abutted each other and formed a room. Remains of a round tabun (L31; diam. 0.73 m), built on a floor that was not preserved, were discovered in its eastern side (Fig. 5). Potsherds were discovered next to the walls and inside the tabun, including fragments of a krater (Fig. 3:11), a jug (Fig. 3:12), a lid (Fig.3:15) and a jar (Fig. 3:6) that dated to the fourth–seventh centuries CE. A coin that dated to the end of the fifth century CE (L32; IAA 120658) was discovered near bedrock.It seems that the walls in this phase were those of a building from the Byzantine period that was apparently used as a dwelling.
Phase 2. A wall (W21) was ascribed to this phase. Exposed on the surface, it was apparently damaged during development work. The wall, aligned northwest-southeast, was built on soil and stone fill of partially dressed fieldstones and rubble, bonded with soil. A fragment of a sandal lamp from the Abbasid period (Fig. 3:19) and body fragments of vessels from this period were discovered near the wall, whichmay belong to a stratum from the Abbasid period.
Square 3 (Figs. 6, 7)
Wall remains ascribed to the Early Roman period (Phase 1) and the Byzantine period (Phase 2) were exposed. Disturbed finds from the Abbasid period (Phase 3) were discovered on the surface. A deep disturbance in the surface had penetrated into the Byzantine-period stratum.
Phase 1. A wall (W45) and a pavement of flat limestone (L27) that abutted it were ascribed to this phase. Wall 45 was discovered beneath the base of Wall 22 from Phase 2 (see below). The paving stones were founded on soil fill that was deposited on the bedrock. Some of the pavement was damaged during the installation of a modern water pipe. Ceramic finds were discovered below the stone pavement (L42), including fragments of an Eastern Terra Sigillata plate (Fig. 3:1) and a cooking pot (Fig. 3:2) that dated to the first–second centuries CE.
Phase 2. Two walls (W22, W24), founded on soil and stone fill (thickness 0.5 m), were ascribed to this phase. The walls were built of partly dressed stones of various sizes with small fieldstones bonded with soil between them. Wall 24 abutted W22. A pavement of limestone flagstones with small stones between them (L15, L16, L19) abutted both sides of the walls. The pavement was disturbed by modern work. Ceramic finds were discovered below Stone Pavement 19, including fragments of cooking pots from the end of the Roman period (Fig. 3:5). The ceramic finds below the stone pavement (L43) included a base fragment of a bowl (Fig. 3:10) and a cooking pot lid (Fig. 3:16) that dated to the Byzantine period. While excavating a probe in the western side of the square (L30), fragments of a Galilean bowl from the Roman period (Fig. 3:4) and of cooking pots from the Byzantine period (Fig. 3:13, 14) were retrieved. A coin struck in the mint of Constantinople, from the time of Constantius II (351–354 CE; IAA 120659), was also discovered in the probe. According to the ceramic finds it seems that this phase is dated to the Byzantine period.
Phase 3. Potsherds dating to the Abbasid period were collected from the surface; they were not found in a clear context.It seems that during the development work, the upper layer of the area was completely removed and older strata were damaged (L27A). The ceramic finds from this phase included a fragment of a glazed plate (Fig. 3:17) and a fragment of a mold-made jug, of buff colored clay (Fig. 3:18). Two fragments of glass vessels that dated to the Abbasid period were also discovered in L27A (see below).
A large amount of industrial glass waste was discovered in the excavation, as well as 134 fragments of glass vessels, c. 100 of which were identified. Most of the glass vessels dated to the fourth century CE. The glass industrial debris was discovered together with the vessels that dated to the end of the Roman period (fourth century CE). The vessels closely resemble those discovered in the glass workshop at the nearby site of Jalame, which dated to the second half of the fourth century CE (Weinberg G.D. and Goldstein S.M. 1988. The Glass Vessels. In G.D. Weinberg, ed. Excavations at Jalame: Site of a Glass Factory in Late Roman Palestine. Columbia, Mo. Pp. 38–102). The innovation of the current excavation is the exposure of finds from the Early Islamic period that date to the eighth–ninth centuries CE and are represented by two vessels that first appear in the Umayyad period and continue to occur in the Abbasid period. These finds may be connected to a stratum from this period in the upper part of the excavated area, which was severely damaged.
Glass Vessels from the Fourth Century CE (Fig. 8:1–9). Several fragments of bowls (Fig. 8: 1–4) were discovered; the most outstanding are the shallow bowls with a protruding horizontal ridge below a rounded rim (Fig. 8:1, 2). The bowl in Fig.8:1 is made of greenish blue glass and the bowl in Fig. 8:2 is made of pale greenish glass. The bowl in Fig. 8:3, made of yellowish olive green glass, is deep and its rim is folded-out and heated to form a thickened rim. The bowl in Fig. 8:4 is made of greenish blue glass and has an everted rim that is rounded and delicate; this seems to be a small bowl. The fragments in Fig. 8:5 and 8:6 are a rim and a base of a cylindrical cup that has a rounded rim and a trail wrapped horizontally below it; the side is usually thin and the base is thickened to form a kind of thick discus. The rim in Fig. 8:5 is made of very pale greenish glass and is adorned with a trail of the same shade; the base in Fig. 8:6 is made of greenish blue glass. This cup is dubbed a ‘cup with a solid base’ and it seems that it was produced in the workshop at Jalame. The fragment in Fig. 8:7 belongs to a base of bluish green glass of a cup or a delicate juglet, the likes of which were discovered in the excavations at Jalame. The fragment in Fig. 8:8 belongs to a rim of a jar made of yellowish green glass. The rim is folded-out and a thickened basket handle was affixed to it. An identical fragment was discovered in the excavation of the glass workshop at Jalame. The fragment in Fig. 8:9 belongs to the rim of a large bottle made of pale green glass that is decorated with a single trail below the rim, which has the same color as the vessel.
Glass Vessels from the Eighth-Ninth Centuries CE (Fig. 8:11, 12). Two fragments of vessels that represent this phase were discovered in L27A. The fragment in Fig. 8:11 belongs to a bowl made of pale green glass, and decorated with tonged pinching that formed a parallel sunken pattern on both sides of the vessel. This pattern includes a strip of rhombuses below the rim and pairs of horizontal bands between them, and a horizontal pattern of elliptical shapes below this strip. Numerous bowls decorated with this technique were discovered in the excavations at Caesarea, Bet She’an and Ramla. The fragment in Fig. 8:12 is a handle that probably belongs to a cup or bowl, which may have been used as a lamp; it is made of greenish blue glass with yellowish brown veins. Handles such as this are characteristic of the Early Islamic period.
Glass Industrial Waste (Fig. 8:10). Most of the waste resulted from blowing glass vessels. The fragment in Fig. 8:10 belong to part of a vessel that was connected to the blow pipe; it was cut on one side to release the vessel from the blowpipe and it is broken on the other side. Such fragments are called ‘moils’ and are characterized by one end that is cut straight and the other end has a thick, uneven triangular cross-section. This fragment is made of greenish blue glass, which is quite characteristic of material dating to the Late Roman period. The fragment was discovered in a basket of mixed finds that dated to the end of the Roman and the Early Islamic periods. In addition, raw glass lumps of various size were discovered (Fig. 9:1–5) that were meant to be melted in a furnace, and a small amount of furnace waste (Fig. 9:6) was found. The raw glass lumps are greenish blue, green and yellowish brown or a shade of olive green.
Settlement remains from the Roman and Byzantine periods were discovered in the three excavation squares. The innovation of this excavation is the discovery of some presence, possibly a habitation level, from the Early Islamic period, along the northern side of the ruin. The remains from this period were severely damaged due to development work in the area. Remains from this period had not been discovered in any of the previous excavations at the site.