During August 2001, a salvage excavation was conducted at the site of Mavqi‘im (Permit No. A- 3476*; map ref. NIG 158249–809/613750–4220; OIG 108249–809/113750–4220), after a millstone was found during the installation of a water pipe in a desalinization plant of the Elat–Ashqelon Pipeline Company. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by Y. Haimi, with the assistance of H. Lavi (administration), V. Essman and V. Pirsky (surveying), T. Sagiv (photography) and I. Lidsky (drawing).
Five squares were opened along the planned trench of the pipe, revealing a Byzantine winepress (Figs. 1, 2). Remains of plaster were discerned on the treading floor (5 × 6 m) of the winepress and two flagstones survived in its southwestern corner, whereas the rest of the stones were probably robbed some time later. A millstone in secondary use was in the middle of the treading floor and below it, a ceramic pipe that conveyed liquid to a paved vat (L18; Fig. 3) and to another plastered vat (L21; Fig. 4). A pipe in one of the walls (W106) conveyed liquid to a large storage vat (L19; depth 2 m; Fig. 5). A room with a plaster floor (L13) that probably served as a storehouse was discovered south of the treading floor. It contained numerous fragments of kraters (Fig. 6:1, 2), Gaza jars (Fig. 6:3, 4) and a lamp characteristic of the Byzantine period (Fig. 6:5).
An opening was installed in a wall (W107), through which the wine from broken jars could drain back into an intermediate vat (L21).
Based on the remains of the plaster floor (L22; Fig. 7) and the remains of a corner formed by two walls (W110, W111), other rooms were probably located around the treading floor.