The current excavation resumed the exploration in three of the five casement rooms and in the courtyard (Fig. 2). The finds are dated to the Iron Age IIA.
The fill inside the casement rooms (L116 in the west; L117 and L118 in the north) was excavated to a depth of 0.2–0.3 m. Two additional courses of the rooms’ walls (W50–W57) were unearthed; the walls were built of dry construction, consisting of medium-sized limestone blocks with a fill of small stones between them. Some more of the lower parts of the retaining pillars in the center of Room 116 were also exposed (Fig. 3). Room 118 was excavated to beneath the level of a stone threshold that was used in an opening onto the courtyard. Although no floors were identified in the rooms, they yielded habitation levels with pottery sherds dating from the eleventh–tenth centuries BCE. It thus seems that the pottery lay on dirt floors, whose elevation corresponds fits that the habitation levels unearthed in previous excavations.
The fort’s courtyard was fully excavated (L114, L115, L119, L120). A surface of soil mixed with ash (L119, L120; Fig. 4), apparently a habitation level, was uncovered in its northwest part of the courtyard. An intact, red-slipped krater with vertical burnishing, dating from the tenth century BCE, was found in L119 (Fig. 5). Approximately forty grape pips were found near the krater; most of them were scattered beside the krater, and some inside it. A radiometric analysis of a samples of grape pips yielded an eleventh–tenth centuries BCE date. Petrographic tests of pottery retrieved from the courtyard found that it contained copper slag. TL dating of sediments deposited on coarse handmade ‘Negev’ Ware potsherds did not provide conclusive results.
The ceramic finds form the habitation levels in the rooms, the intact krater and the grape pips date the fort’s occupation to the Iron Age IIA (eleventh–tenth centuries BCE).