In August 2014, a trial excavation was conducted in the Nabi Iliya Makam (Shrine of the Prophet Iliya) on the northern slopes of Khirbat El-Hawarit (Permit No. A-7188; map ref. 269650/793460). The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by R. Assis (photography), was the assistance of Y. Ya‘aqobi (administration), M. Kahan (surveying and drafting), H. Tahan-Rosen (pottery drawing) and a group of laborers from Buq‘ata .
In the current excavation, one square (4 × 5 m) was opened along the northeastern edge of the site, c. 15 m east a terrace on the northern slope, perpendicular to Hartal’s excavation (Hartal, Hudson and Berlin 2008). Two distinct layers were discerned (Fig. 3). In the lower layer (Stratum 2), which had accumulated directly on top of the cracked calcareous bedrock, was soil (L102) that had eroded from the hill and included ceramic finds, all of which date to the Late Roman period. The ceramic assemblage consisted of a variety of vessels, such as bowls (Fig. 4:1), kraters (Fig. 4:2, 3), jars and amphoriskoi (Fig. 4:4–6). A fragment of a kiln bar (Fig. 4:7) that was used to separate vessels from each other during the firing process was also found. The kiln bar fragment is in keeping with what we know about the pottery workshop that existed nearby.
The upper layer (Stratum 1) included a mass of building stones taken from the Mamluk fortress on the hilltop and utilized as a foundation for the modern road that leads up to the top of the spur. It included a rectangular ashlar (0.4 × 0.4 × 1.2 m) and smaller dressed stones (Fig. 5). The mass of stones was placed directly over Stratum 2 (Fig. 6), and fragments of pottery vessels dating to the Late Roman, Byzantine, Mamluk (bowl; Fig. 4:8) and Ottoman (krater; Fig. 4:9) periods were found between the stones. This ceramic assemblage is consistent with the survey findings about a Mamluk presence on the hilltop.
Hartal M. 1989. Northern Golan Heights: The Archaeological Survey as a Source of Regional History. Qazrin (Hebrew; English summary).
Hartal M. and Dar. S. 1987. Khirbet Hawarit. ESI 5:82.
Hartal M., Hudson N. and Berlin A.M. 2008. Khirbat El-Hawarit: A Ceramic Workshop on the Mount Hermon Slopes. ‘Atiqot 59:131–155.