During October 2001, a small salvage excavation was conducted in the southern part of Karm er-Ras (Permit No. A-3509; map ref. NIG 231560/739325; OIG 181560/239325), in the wake of private construction. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the landowner B. Safuri, was directed by A. Moqary, who kindly granted the publication rights to Y. Alexandre, with the assistance of V. Essman and V. Pirsky (surveying), E. Belashov and I. Berin (drafting) and H. Tahan (pottery darwing).
Prior to the excavation, the topsoil layer (thickness 0.5 m) was removed by mechanical equipment. The excavation exposed archaeological strata dating to the Hellenistic (Strata VI, V), Early and Middle Roman (Strata IV, III) and Byzantine (Stratum I) periods.
The excavation reached bedrock at a depth of c. 1.7 m below surface (Fig. 1). Two small sections of adjacent stone walls (W1013, W1015) directly on bedrock seem to be the earliest architectural remains, dating to the Hellenistic (Strata VI, V) or possibly to the Early Roman period (Stratum IV).
A stone wall (W1005; exposure length 5 m; Fig. 2) was built over these walls and formed a corner with another small wall section (W1014). A packed earth floor (L1006), partially plastered and incorporating a few flagstones, was contemporary with W1005 and W1014 and may date to the Middle Roman period (Stratum III). The mixed nature of the pottery assemblages in these levels precluded reliable dating.
Two later parallel walls (W1009, W1010) that had cut into the Middle Roman stratum were associated with a fine plastered floor (L1002), which incorporated several flagstones and ran over the top course of the earlier W1005. Wall 1010 was adjacent to a small plastered pit (L1007A) or installation with rounded walls, which was only partially uncovered. This pit may be part of a food-processing or other industrial installation, whose nature is unclear. This stratum (I) is dated by potsherds to the Byzantine period (fifth century CE).
The excavations in Area K revealed a few walls from the Hellenistic/Early Roman and Middle Roman periods but no coherent architectural plan could be restored from this data. The architectural remains from the Byzantine period seem to belong to a food-processing or an industrial installation.