During August 2005, an excavation was conducted in the Yattir Forest (Permit No. A-4566*; map ref. NIG 20890/58495; OIG 15890/08495), prior to the construction of the separation fence. The excavation, carried out on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by the Ministry of Defense, was directed by M. Haiman (photography), with the assistance of A. Freiberg (area supervision) and A. Hajian (surveying and drafting).
Probe trenches were excavated in the retaining walls of five farming terraces (W1–5), located in a wadi channel. Farming Terrace 1 (length 7 m, width 1.1 m; Fig. 1) was built of medium and large stones (max. length 0.5 m) arranged in four stepped courses (height 1.3 m; Figs. 2, 3). Terrace Wall 2 (length 12 m, width 1 m; Figs. 4, 5) was built of large stones (length 0.4–0.8 m) that were placed in stepped courses (height 1.2 m). Terrace Wall 3 (length 24 m, width c. 0.7 m; Fig. 6) was built of different size stones to a height of 0.6 m. Terrace Wall 4 (length 22 m, width 1.5 m; Fig. 7) was built of medium and large stones (length c. 0.5 m) that were arranged in three stepped courses (height c. 0.95 m). Terrace Wall 5 (length 24 m, width c. 1 m; Fig. 8) was built of a row of very large stones (max. length 1 m) with smaller stones in-between (height 0.6 m). The excavated farming terraces represent a widespread phenomenon in the region, namely agriculture that was irrigated with runoff in the wadi channels. A few worn potsherds that dated to the Byzantine period were discovered in the excavation. These potsherds and the date of similar farming terraces in the region indicate that the farming terraces at the site should be dated to the Byzantine period.