The village was situated on a hill and faced broad, open areas on all sides; Mount Hermon (Jabal al-Shaykh) loomed in the northeast. A secondary road linked al-Zuq al-Tahtani to a highway that led to Safad and Tiberias, and graded roads connected it to neighboring villages. The etymology of the first part of the name, al-Zuq, has not been established; it may have been derived from the Syriac zuk, meaning 'town.' The second part, al-Tahtani, meant 'lower' in Arabic and distinguished it from al-Zuq al-Fawqani, the 'upper' village, to the northwest. In the late nineteenth century, al-Zuq al-Tahtani was a village built of stone and mud and surrounded by arable land. It had a population of about 100. There were older, ruined Arab houses and a mill on the north side, and a large stream ran near the village. The population of al-Zuq al-Tahtani was comprised of 626 Muslims and one Christian in 1931; no exact breakdown is available for 1945, but the population was predominantly Muslim. The villagers drew water for domestic use from a nearby wadi and operated water-powered mills north of the village. They worked mainly in agriculture, cultivating citrus and other fruits, especially on the lands to the south. In 1944/45 a total of 2,145 dunums was allotted to cereals; 5,547 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. Al-Zuq al-Tahtani was considered an archaeological site, that is, an artificial mound where building foundations protruded from the surface. Remains of dry stone enclosures and pottery fragments could be found on the surface of the ground.