Building Remains
In the survey the remains of a farmstead (not excavated) were found towards the top of the hill. Based on the potsherds that were scattered among them, they can be dated to the Byzantine period. Two farmhouses were exposed next to the remains. The first structure was a large ancillary building with only sections of its walls surviving. However, it was still apparent that this was a well-constructed building made of large boulders (Fig. 1) surrounded by channels cut in bedrock to protect it from rain (Fig. 2). On the bedrock floor of the building was an upper stone of an Olynthus-type millstone (Fig. 3) and numerous potsherds that date to the Byzantine period. The second building was a tower with thick walls (3.2 × 3.2 m; Fig. 4). The ceramic finds are also from the Byzantine period.
Meager building remains that date to the beginning of the twentieth century were found on the slopes of the hill. An excavation was conducted in one of the buildings (Fig. 5).
In the survey caves were documented that were used as dwellings and for storage. Excavations were conducted in two of them in which no significant finds were uncovered. In the third cave isolated potsherds were found that date to the end of the Persian period.
A few quarries were exposed in the excavation. Ashlar stones, which were the most common find in the area, were produced in them.
Thirteen winepresses were uncovered, six of which were Ta’anakh-type winepresses. These included a sloping treading floor that had two rock-hewn holes at its base which led to a small collecting vat (Figs. 6, 7 left). An identical winepress was exposed beneath the Middle Bronze Age rampart at Tel Ta’anakh (BASOR 195, p. 12).
Four complex winepresses (Figs. 4 right; 7) were exposed that had a broad, slightly sloped treading floor from which a narrow channel led to a large collecting vat. A mortar was found in the floor of three of the winepresses. The collecting vat in one of the winepresses was paved with mosaic (Fig. 8). Two of these winepresses should be dated to the Middle Roman period and two to the Byzantine period.
Crushing Installations
Two round installations were exposed that resembled a stone crushing basin (yam) that was usually present in ancient olive presses (Fig. 9). No pressing installations were found in the excavation that was conducted there.
Tethering Installations
Tethering installations were hewn (diam. 10 cm; Fig. 10) on rocky surfaces and the sides of quarries. In one place fourteen such installations were exposed close to each other on a bedrock surface.
Other rock-cut Installations
Two types of rock-cut installations were identified. Type A consisted of a long channel with short perpendicular secondary channels that were often arranged in pairs opposite each other (Fig. 11). Dozens of similar installations were found around Qibbuz Mishmar Ha-‘Emeq. Researchers who studied the nearby site of Geva believe that similar installations there were used for soaking flax stalks, but in our opinion the absence of water sources next to the installations casts doubt on this explanation.
Rock-cut installations of Type B consisted of a shorter and broader channel than those of Type A. Perpendicular to the primary channel were one or two channels that were narrower and shorter than the secondary channels of Type A (Fig. 12: right installation 5 m long, left installation 3.5 m long). The size of the installations was not uniform and in one instance a Type B installation was found that in place of a primary channel was a long natural hollow in the bedrock with a secondary channel hewn in its rim (Fig. 13).
A number of tombs were discovered. An excavation was conducted in one tomb where the bones of more than thirty individuals from two different periods were found. The cave was first used in the Chalcolithic period which is represented by fragments of ossuaries and several clay vessels (Fig. 14). In the Early Bronze Age IB the area inside the cave was leveled and other deceased were placed in it together with numerous pottery vessels, flint knives and a few beads (Fig. 15). A long narrow tombstone (c. 70 cm) was found on a bedrock ledge at the edge of the cave; near it was a carefully polished pinkish limestone slab (Fig. 16).