Initial stages of work began with two weeks in 1980 spent on an intensive surface survey which involved examining the surface remains and clearing the heavy vegetation cover. Surface work consisted of collecting sherds and conducting a magnetometric survey of the interior of the acropolis, planning and photographing of all structural remains visible within the walls of both the acropolis and the lower city, and similarly recording the external face of the city walls.
Besides finds associated with the interior of the city, the survey of the surrounding environment revealed numerous kinds of activity zones. To the north of the site are two quarries on the slopes of three large rock outcroppings. Quarrying activity here must have supplemented the supply of stone gained from preparing the site’s southern slopes for industrial activities.
Scattered around the site are four sarcophagi carved out of the bedrock. This is clearly not representative of typical funeral rites of the population of Khostia, although signs of a general necropolis zone were not discovered. The similar form of these burials, all disturbed, allows several comments to be made. The localization of three tombs to the south of the site has been interpreted as indicating the route of an ancient road leading to the south. Furthermore, the size of the cuttings, 1.75 to 1.90 m in length, indicates extended inhumations. One cutting possesses a small niche, which may have been added in order to receive ritual offerings.
The survey also found several pieces of pottery with scrawled graffiti, numerous fragmentary remains of terracotta figurines, and coins from the Hellenistic and Late Roman periods.