To the east of the fortress are the remains of a rural dwelling whose structure included pillars made from a single stone, a style of building characteristic of the Israelite period. Cisterns for collecting and storing water are hewn into the rock nearby. To the west of the fortress lie the remains of two oil presses, and to the south of them is a large building whose architecture is likewise characteristic of the Israelite period. It is what archeologists refer to as a “four-space house,” i.e., it comprises three long rectangular rooms parallel to one another with a fourth room built perpendicular to them on the end.
Prior to the construction of the fortress, a private dwelling from the early Iron Age stood at this site, and the archeologist in charge of the excavations has suggested that the settlement was abandoned at the time of King Solomon and resettled by Phoenician Sidonites who made it their administrative center: this was where agricultural produce was collected for dispatch to their capital, Tyre. Dr. Gal proposes identifying this change of population with the story of the land of Cabul, which is mentioned in one of the more enigmatic passages in the Bible, with reference to the deal that was struck between King Solomon and King Hiram of Tyre. Shlomo received cedars, cypresses and gold for the construction of the Temple and his palace while Hiram got farm produce and land. For reasons that are not explained, Hiram was not pleased with the land Solomon had allocated him:
“…then King Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him: and they pleased him not. And he said, What cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul unto this day,” (1 Kings, 9:11-13).
The name Cabul is still in use today, as it has been retained in the name of the Arab village of Kabul, which lies some two kilometers to the south-west of Horvat Rosh Zayit.
The fortress is estimated to date back to the 9th century BCE and the signs of fire found there are perhaps evidence of an Assyrian war expedition to the Phoenician coast, which may have resulted in renewed Israelite settlement slightly to the east of the fortress. Whatever the case may be, settlement at the site ceased completely in the 8th century BCE, when the Assyrian king Tiglath-Pilesar occupied Galilee.