Settlement remains dating to the Pottery Neolithic Period and the Early Bronze Age I were discovered at the site.
Prior to the widening of Highway 38 in the vicinity of Eshta’ol Junction, a number of trial and salvage excavations were conducted. The excavations, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, were directed by archaeologist Michael Friechman, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Settlement remains that date to the Pottery Neolithic Period (8,000 years ago) and Early Bronze Age I (6,000 years ago) were discovered there.
The remains from the Neolithic period include surfaces made of small river pebbles on which pottery sherds and flint implements were found.
The settlement remains of the Early Bronze Age consist of a number of buildings. The bottoms of the buildings’ walls were made of fieldstones and the upper parts were constructed of mudbrick. One of the main buildings that were excavated consisted of at least four large rooms, each with average dimensions measuring 4 x 4 m. The floors of the building were made of tamped earth. The bases of columns that probably supported the structure’s ceiling were discovered in two of the rooms. The floors were found covered with numerous broken pottery vessels that were sent for restoration, as well as flint implements and stone grinding and pounding tools. In one of the excavation squares was an industrial installation built of stone and lime on which a basalt grinding stone had been placed.
The settlement apparently comprised a number of buildings whose remains are spread out along the line of the modern road. Between the buildings were open areas that were used for processing agricultural products and light industry.
The excavations at the site will resume in the near future.
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