This site consists of an ancient village, marked by a number of wall lines, under oak trees, ringing the top of the hill and extending to the north down the beginning slope towards the wadi between the site and Zubya.
On the south of the hill, out of the oak forest are two large 'reservoirs', a number of rock-cut installations and the main cemetery for the site. Further to the south, across the shallow saddle of a wadi and under the scree slope of a modern quarry dump are more elaborate rock cut chamber tombs.
Within the ancient village confines are a number of underground chambers, of which two were investigated. At least one street was detected in the village, leading down from a large cleared area on the very top of the hill, which seems not to have had any structures on it in antiquity.The southern slope of the hill was divided into three main areas. There are two large 'reservoirs', the southern one of which has plaster still adhering to the sides, a rock cut stair access, and the remains of a substantial wall forming the northern side. This was clearly used as a water reservoir. The northern 'reservoir' equally clearly had been a stone quarry - some half cut blocks remain in situ - and the edges are irregular. Nonetheless it could have functioned as a water reservoir, although no trace of plaster remains. To the north-east of the 'reservoirs' are a number of rock cut installations. These include basins, quarrying marks and underground chambers which are not tombs.
The necropolis of the ancient settlement was mainly revealed by illegal tomb robbing which was undertaken between the beginning of November and 19th November when we arrived to work. The robbing was obviously the work of an organized group who had proceeded in a methodical way. We found few finds in the robbers' spoil heaps suggesting that the tombs had been robbed in antiquity. One sarcophagus base had been smashed in the recent work and some grave covering stones also broken. Most exposed tombs seemed to be single shaft graves, but there were chamber tombs with loculi. Our project team attempted to locate by GPS and photograph each exposed tomb.
Qabla appears to be an important manufacturing site, using underground chambers for the processing of some kind of material. We plan to raise additional funds to further investigate the unusual features of the site, through area excavations.
The site is important - the latest occupation appears to be the early Mamluke period, although the main period of use is probably the Byzantine and early Islamic periods. The houses of the ancient village are relatively well preserved, and the underground chamber system is extensive. Although underground houses and stables are attested at other sites in the project (see Kh. Samta and Kh. Sittat), Qabla has evidence of underground manufacturing.