Cluster A. A level rock outcrop hewn in numerous places was uncovered in the eastern part of the cluster. The first installation hewn here was apparently a winepress; it was damaged by subsequent quarrying. The winepress’s roughly hewn, irregularly shaped treading floor was preserved (L100; 3.5 × 5.5 m, 0.14 m deep; Figs. 3, 4). The location of the winepress’s collecting vat could not be established, as it may have been obliterated by later quarrying (below). A shallow rectangular surface hewn in the southwest side of the rock outcrop (L106; 0.40 × 0.85 m, 8 cm deep; Fig. 5) drained eastward through a shallow channel. It may have been part of the winepress and served for piling up the treaded grapes for secondary treading aimed at extracting every last drop of must.

To the east of Surface 106 was a rectangular cutting (L107; 0.85 × 2.00 m; Fig. 6)— probably an entrance to a burial cave; it may have destroyed the winepress’s collecting vat. Two vertical shafts (L104, L108) hewn in the northern and eastern parts of the rock outcrop led to an underground cavity located beneath the hewn winepress.A channel (0.9 × 1.0 m, 1.7 m excavated depth; Fig. 7), natural in part and roughly hewn in part, led to Shaft 104 from the west; it is not clear whether the channel was in any way associated with the winepress’s treading floor. Shaft 104 may have been cut into the winepress’s original collecting vat and thus destroyed it. Shaft 108 (0.9 m diam., 1.2 m excavated depth; Fig. 8) was carelessly hewn, and a square frame was cut around its mouth.

Four round cupmarks (L117, L119, L121) were also hewn into the rock outcrop; these may have served for milling and grinding grain.

A bodeda (Fig. 9) cut into a separate, small rock outcrop was unearthed immediately to the west of the large rock outcrop. It comprised an elliptical pressing surface (L110; 0.40 × 0.55 m, 0.25 m deep) that drained into a round basin (L111). The bodeda was apparently used to produce olive oil.

In the western part of Cluster A were two north–south rectangular rock cuttings (L114, L116; 0.8 × 2.0 m each; Figs. 10, 11) with steps leading to an underground cavity. As they were only partially excavated, their use and date could not be determined, but they may have served as antechambers to ritual baths or burial caves.


Complex B. The excavation unearthed a roughly smoothed surface (L102; Fig. 12) sloping slightly to the northeast and delineated to the south by a low, rock-hewn wall. This may be part of a winepress which was never completed. A round cupmark cut to the southeast of the surface may have served as a stand for a jar.

To the north and south of Surface 102 were two rectangular rock cuttings, one (L112; 0.8 × 2.0 m; Fig. 13)on a north–south alignment and the other (L115; 0.8 × 1.8 m; Fig. 14) on an east–west alignment. The rock surface around Rock Cutting 112 was smoothed; the surface was delineated to the west and the north by natural rock walls, whereas on its south side it was enclosed by a hewn rock wall. The two rock cuttings were only partially excavated, but it seems that they were used as entrances to burial caves.


The excavation unearthed rock-hewn installations associated with agricultural activity—most probably for the production of wine and olive oil—in the region. Nevertheless, due to the paucity of diagnostic finds, it is difficult to establish when they were hewn and used. The underground installations were only partially excavated for halakhic reasons, and it was therefore impossible to determine their nature and the period of their use. The area appears to have been used as a burial ground in the later periods.