Chalcolithic Period (Stratum III). Chalcolithic remains were discovered throughout the excavation area.The main concentration, uncovered in the west of the area, consisted of a rectangular, level layer of numerous potsherds (L129, L130; length c. 10 m, max. width c. 4 m; Fig. 3), which were intentionally placed over the local clayey soil. The layer of potsherds was damaged by the foundations of a modern building that cut into it, mainly in the center. An earlier level layer of potsherds from an earlier phase of activity (L148) was identified beneath the upper layer. Both layers yielded sherds of characteristic Late Chalcolithic vessels: small and large bowls, jars, churns, chalices of various sizes and cornets. Fragments of basalt vessels, flint tool fragments and animal bones were also recovered.
Activity areas comprising mainly pottery concentrations, animal bones and fragments of flint tools were discovered to the west of the rectangular level area. In both activity areas, an earlier phase was identified (L133, L139), also from the Late Chalcolithic period.
Three pits (L114, L115, L117; diam. 0.5–1.5 m; Fig. 4) that were dug into the clayey soil and were probably used for storage were discovered to the east of the rectangular level area. The pottery in these pits was typical of the Late Chalcolithic period. A shaft (L118; diam. c. 1 m, excavated depth c. 6 m; Fig. 5) discovered in the east of the area was not fully excavated to due to safety concerns. Like the other shafts discovered in Yehud in recent years, it is unclear what its initial use was. However, in the second phase, which also dates from the Late Chalcolithic period, the shaft was used as a refuse pit, as indicated by the artifacts from this period which were discarded in it.
Intermediate Bronze Age (Stratum II). Three shafts (L110, L112, L113; diam. c. 1 m) dug into the clayey layer and filled with brown earth and sandy soil were uncovered. The shafts were dug manually without reaching the bottom—two to a depth of 2 m and one to a depth of c. 5 m. A few pottery sherds dating from the Intermediate Bronze Age were retrieved from them. The pits belong to shaft tombs, which have been discovered at other sites of this period as well as at Yehud (Jakoel 2015).
Late Bronze Age (Stratum I). Six tombs from the Late Bronze Age were discovered (T105–T109, T120). During this period, the deceased were buried in pit graves (Figs. 6, 7). The burials, aligned along a northeast–southwest axis, are individual. The deceased were placed on their backs, with their legs straight and one or both of their arms bent. Grave goods, which were arranged around the body, included a range of pottery vessels—jars, open bowls of various sizes, carinated bowls and jugs and a variety of juglets—some of which were imported. Scarabs, two metal fastening pins and animal bones were also recovered. Five of the tombs formed a cluster, suggesting some type of connection between the deceased, possibly because this was a family burial plot. Another, severely damaged tomb was encountered in the north section of the excavation area.
The excavation unearthed habitation levels, pits and a shaft from the Chalcolithic period, three pits that probably belong to Intermediate Bronze Age shaft tombs and six Late Bronze Age tombs. The excavation findings augment our information and understanding of the spatial organization of the settlements in the region during these periods. The current excavation makes a significant contribution to the body of research on the region: the Chalcolithic habitation levels are unique and provide insight into the settlement in the region at the time. The region was apparently an important one, drawing settlers in various periods. One of the main reasons for this was presumably the nearby ancient stream, whose traces were discovered in an excavation c. 300 m east of the current area (Jakoel, Ackermann and Elisha 2018 [Fig. 1: A-7975]). Future research will examine the finds and their association with evidence from other excavations in the vicinity and at Tel Yehud.