The cellar walls were reinforced with white mortar consisting of a mixture of crushed chalk and plaster. The northern (W13) and eastern (W14) walls, built beside a high bedrock terrace, comprised courses of large, roughly-hewn fieldstones with small fieldstones in between. The southern (W12) and western (W10) walls were founded on the haphazardly-leveled bedrock. They were constructed of large, roughly-hewn fieldstones, with ashlars incorporated in the corners. Iron rings that probably served to hold tools or to tether animals were fixed in the middle of the fourth course on the outer faces of W10 and W12.
A thick terracotta pipe (L104; length 2.3 m, width 1.2 m, max. depth 1.75 m) was vertically attached to the southwestern corner of the cellar by means of a thick layer of mortar; its lower opening was situated c. 0.5 m above the floor and was set on a built corner protruding from into the structure. The cellar’s interior, including the inner walls, floor and plumbing, were coated with hydraulic plaster (Fig. 4). A series of terracotta pipes coming from the north, which were only partially preserved, led to the cellar. Two pipes (Fig. 5) that led to a siphon were discovered at the northern end of the excavation; the siphon was connected to a pipe set into the eastern face of W10. From there it connected to the vertical pipe in the cellar’s corner, through which the water drained into the cellar.
A fill of soil and stones (thickness c. 2.5 m) found inside the cellar contained chunks of concrete and plaster that collapsed from the walls of the upper story. This fill included a large amount of debris dating to the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries CE: porcelain, metal tools, glassware, roof tiles (de Vincenz, below) and plastic bags. Similar finds were discovered among stones intentionally placed as a fill on top of the haphazardly-leveled bedrock. The stone fill was deposited after the cellar was demolished, in order to raise the surface in this area and level it with the other parts of the compound. This took place in the twentieth century, prior to construction of new buildings and the instalment of a concrete sewer system.
A retaining wall (W11) built of small- and medium-sized fieldstones (Fig. 6) was unearthed to the southeast of the cellar. Sections of a tamped-chalk surface (L105; Fig. 7), probably the original floor of the courtyard, were found above the wall and to the northeast of the cellar. The compound’s original wall (W16) was excavated down to its base, which was founded on bedrock. It was unearthed north of the cellar, in a small section north of the gate’s northern doorjamb that was fixed in the modern compound’s fence (W15). A wall stump (W17) perpendicular to the fence indicates that in the original entrance included walls or pillars that protruded into the compound, beyond the course of the fence (Fig. 8). A wall built of a row of fieldstones (W18; Fig. 9) founded on hamra, several centimeters above bedrock, was exposed in the northeastern portion of the excavation area. Evidently, the southern part of the wall had been cut by W17. The date of the wall is unknown, and no architectural elements connected to it were found.
Ceramics and Small Finds
Anna de Vincenz
Only two fragments of “simple” earthenware vessels were found during the excavations: a jar rim (Fig. 10:1) and the rim of a bowl (Fig.10:2). Both vessels were made of coarse ware, are probably locally made and seem to date to the nineteenth century.
Porcelain and Hardpaste Vessels. The majority of the ceramic vessels from the excavation are made of porcelain and hardpaste (Figs. 11–13). These household types include mainly cups, saucers, bowls and plates, as well as egg cups and sugar pots and lids. All of the vessels were imported from Europe, mainly from Sarreguemines/Saargemünd in Lorraine, today in northeastern France, on the border with Germany. The porcelain and ceramic manufacture was established in the city during the late eighteenth century CE. The factory produced practically any type of vessel that was needed in the household, such as cups and saucers, breakfast bowls, plates, sugar jars and pickle jars. These were made either in plain white porcelain or with painted designs. The mark these vessels bore—the Lorraine flag surmounted by a crown fashioned as a city wall— was in use from c.1850 and until 1920. Vessels bearing this stamped mark were found in the excavation, for example a jar base (Fig. 12:1), a molded breakfast bowl (Fig. 12:2, 3) and a cup with black underglaze transfer decoration (Fig. 12:4, 5). The assemblage also included a white glazed hardpaste saucer with a backstamp of the Lunéville factory in Lorraine (Fig. 12:6). The factory, established in 1728, was taken over in 1812 by Keller and Guérin, who produced faience, hardpaste and porcelain vessels. Their stamp, including the word “FRANCE”, was in use from 1890 until 1920.
A third factory represented in the finds was in Vaudrevange/Wallerfangen in Saarland, today in Germany, along the border with France. It was acquired in 1791 by Nicolas Villeroy who then incorporated it into his factory Villeroy & Boch. It produced mainly stoneware kitchen and table vessels of all types. Two vessels produced by this factory were found: a stamped saucer (Fig. 13:1, 2) and a lid (Fig. 13:3), both decorated with a blue underglaze transfer pattern. The backstamp of the saucer and the decoration date both to the last quarter of the nineteenth century CE.
Glass Vessels (Fig. 14). A number of glass vessels were found at the site, including a selection of glass bottles in various sizes and shapes that were used, among other things, for water, soda, seltzer and vinegar; the small bottles may have been used for ink or medicine. The glass assemblage also included two glass stoppers, that were used mainly for medicine bottles, and three long glass tubes, which were possibly used as testing tubes or for some other medical purpose.
Bone/Ivory Handle (Fig. 15). The handle bears an engraved inscription—“Extra Fine G”—which indicates that it belonged to a toothbrush. Only the lower part of the handle, without the bristles, was found; these must have been natural, probably made of animal hair, since it was not until 1938 that nylon bristles were used. Toothbrushes of this type date to the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries CE.
Roof Tiles (Fig. 16). A large number of locally made roof tiles was found. They were all produced at the Steinberg factory at Motza, as evidenced by the stamp they bear: M. STEINBERG, MOTZA in either English or Hebrew. Production at the Motza factory began in 1923 by Michael Steinberg, perhaps as a local response to the imported tiles from Marseille. Interestingly, no Marseille roof tiles were noted during the excavation.
The cellar, which was probably used as a cistern, was part of the Templar compound constructed in the late nineteenth century CE, when the Templar colony (the German Colony) was established in Jerusalem. The upper story of the building, which was not preserved, was probably used as a guard outpost. The compound’s eastern fence was founded on bedrock, and south of it was a retaining wall that formed an inner terrace. The wall of the original fence is still used today, although slight changes and additions were made, including a concrete casting in the south and brick construction in the north intended to reinforce and raise the wall. This phase was probably part of the renovations and maintenance implemented in recent times. It included installing a concrete sewer system with plastic pipes, repairing the eastern fence and constructing three cast concrete steps leading up to the main gate that is fixed in fence. There was probably a pre-Templar period building situated there, as indicated by W18, which was severed by the walls of the Templar compound, but the building’s plan and date remain unknown.