Following the removal of fill (depth 1.6 m), the tops of ancient walls were exposed; at this point, an excavation area (45 sq m) was opened and five phases (1–5) were documented.
Phase 1—modern building. The existing building was constructed on the ancient remains during the past century (Fig. 4). One can discern the late foundation trenches of the building’s columns that cut through the earlier floors, for example a trench (L807) that severed a floor (L805).
Phase 2—Late Ottoman Period. A building with two rooms arranged in a row was exposed. An open space was to their west and all three had plaster floors mixed with mud. The eastern wall of the existing building severed the floors of the two rooms. The northern room (L805; 1.4×1.9 m) was delimited in the south by a wall (W802; height 0.55 m) and in the west by a wall (W809) that was robbed almost to the level of its foundation. A probe (L812; depth 0.5 m) was excavated beneath Floor 805, in which two glazed bowl rims (Fig. 5:1, 2), a body fragment of a green glazed mold-made bowl (Fig. 5:3) and a jar (Fig. 5:4) were found; all fragments date to the Late Ottoman period.
The southern room (L806; 1.35×1.50 m) was enclosed on the north by W802 and by Wall 803 in the south (height above the floor 0.5 m).
A probe (L810, depth 0.5 m) was excavated beneath Floor 806 and two coins were found, one of which is a Mamluk coin from the days of Barquq (1390–1399 CE; IAA 138429).
A rectangular space with a damaged plaster floor (L808; 2.7×4.4 m; not marked in plan), probably a courtyard, was exposed west of the rooms. A vault (L819; diam. 1.5 m) was built to support floor 808. This area was also severely damaged by the foundations of the existing building. Seven coins were found in the courtyard, four of which were identified: a post-reform Umayyad coin (697–750 CE; IAA 138428) that was found in the plaster floor; a Mamluk coin minted by Barquq in Damascus (1395/6 CE; IAA 138427); a Mamluk coin minted by el-Nasr Mohamed in Cairo (1496 CE; IAA 138426); and an Ottoman Manghir, dating to the last quarter of the sixteenth century CE (IAA 138425).
Phase 3—Early Ottoman Period. A plaster floor (L815; Fig. 6) was exposed in a probe excavated beneath Courtyard 808. Numerous pottery fragments dating to the Early Ottoman period (fifteenth–sixteenth centuries CE) were found on the floor, including four bowls with colorful and glazed patterns—three (Fig. 7:1, 2, 4) decorated on the inside and one (Fig. 7:3) decorated on the outside, as well as a plain mold-made lamp (Fig. 7:5) and a decorated handle of a small stove (Fig. 7:6).
Phase 4—Mamluk Period. Another plaster floor (L817) was discovered below floor 815.
Fragments of pottery vessels from the Mamluk period (not drawn) were found beneath Floor 817. The northern part of this floor was severed in the Late Ottoman period (Phase 2) during the construction Vault 819.
Phase 5—Early Cistern. An ancient cistern was documented beneath the northern part of the building. The narrow and deep capstone (0.50×0.55 m, depth 3.3 m) opened into a rectangular reservoir (L821; 1.8×3.6 m, depth 3.5 m). The cistern’s ceiling was vaulted and well-plastered and it was probably used until the twentieth century. While removing the debris from around the cistern, a modern fill pipe that extended from the roof of the western part of the building was found. The deep opening through which water was drawn shows that the capstone was repeatedly raised, indicating the lengthy duration of its use.
The finds of the small excavation suggest that building remains and floors in this place date from the twelfth century CE to the modern era. Given the great depth of the cistern and the fact that the excavation did not reach bedrock, it can be assumed that even earlier remains are located deep in the ground.