During May 2005, a salvage excavation was conducted along the route of the separation fence in the region of the Yattir Forest (Permit No. A-4483*; map ref. NIG 19970–85/58495–505; OIG 14970–85/08495–505). The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and funded by the Ministry of Defense, was directed by N.S. Paran, with the assistance of H. Lavi (administration), A. Hajian (surveying) and M. Haiman (photography).
Sections of three walls (Fig. 1), which were built on the northwestern slope of a spur that extended northward, were excavated. These walls were part of an extensive complex of walls and installations, associated with the agricultural activity in the southern Hebron Highlands. Two of the walls, parallel and 10 m apart (length 120 m, exposed length 6 m, width 0.6–0.8 m, height 0.5–1.2 m), were built on bedrock of one–two courses of very large fieldstones and oriented southeast–northwest. The walls continued from the top of the spur down to the Eshtamo‘a wadi channel at its base. At their upper end these two walls met a third wall (unexcavated) built on top of the spur in an east–west direction. It seems the walls delimited a wide road, possibly a field road, which was flanked on either side by cultivation plots. The third wall (length 17 m, exposed length 4 m, width 0.2–0.3 m, height 0.1–0.2 m) was c. 10 northeast of the excavated section of one of the first two walls. It was partly founded on bedrock and partly on soil and consisted of a single course of small fieldstones oriented southwest–northeast. It seems that the third wall was used to collect surface run-off, which may have been conveyed to a water cistern on the slope of the spur that was not identified. A few potsherds, mostly ribbed body fragments, were discovered in the excavation.