Layers of earth, sloping in the direction in which the refuse had been discarded, were discerned in the pit (depth 2 m); between them were layers of lime mixed with large amounts of ash (L100–L105, L107–L110). No differences were distinguished in the artifacts from the different layers. Most of the pottery vessels date from the Mamluk period (thirteenth–fifteenth centuries CE), and almost all of the coins are from the fourteenth century CE (below). A layer of red soil (L106; thickness c. 0.2 m), possibly the debris of a nearby pottery workshop, was exposed in the northwestern corner of the excavation. The limits of the refuse pit were not exposed, as they seem to extend beyond the limits of the lot. To determine the depth of the refuse pit, mechanical equipment was used to reach virgin soil in the eastern square (L104; depth c. 2.3 m).

 
Ceramic Artifacts
Outstanding among the pottery vessels discovered in the excavation are the plain, unglazed, bowls. Large quantities of these were found in many excavations in Ramla (e.g., Kletter 2009: Fig. 8; Torgë 2011:102, Fig. 9:6–17; Toueg and Stern 2016: Fig. 3:4). These bowls are made of coarse material containing a large amount of gravel. The ceramic finds date mainly from the thirteenth–fifteenth centuries CE and are presented below according to typology.
 
Fragments of a variety of bowls were found (Fig. 3): a local bowl adorned with a monochrome decoration, dated to the fourteenth–fifteenth centuries CE (Fig. 3:1); a glazed bowl decorated with incising and brown paint, dated to the fourteenth–fifteenth centuries CE (Fig. 3:2); a sgraffito type green glazed bowl, dated to the fourteenth–fifteenth centuries CE (Fig. 3:3); sgraffito type imports from Egypt, dated to the thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE (Fig. 3:4–6); Cypriot types from fourteenth–fifteenth centuries CE (Fig. 3:7, 8); a Cypriot type from the thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE (Fig. 3:9); Italian imports (Fig. 3:10); a frit bowl dated to the thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE (Fig. 3:11); an imitation Celadon bowl dated to the fourteenth–fifteenth centuries CE (Fig. 3:12); and a plain bowl (Fig. 3:13).
Fragments of other vessels were also found: jar fragments from the fourth–fifth centuries CE (Fig. 4:1); a krater from the sixth–eighth centuries CE (Fig. 4:2); a handmade krater from the fourteenth–fifteenth centuries CE (Fig. 4:3); a handmade casserole decorated with paint, dating from the thirteenth–fifteenth centuries CE (Fig. 4:4); a cooking pot (Fig. 4:5); a jar from the twelfth–fourteenth centuries (Fig. 4:6); a jug (Fig. 4:7); a painted handmade geometric jug from the thirteenth–fifteenth centuries CE (Fig. 4:8); a distorted base of a jug (Fig. 4:9); a green-and-blue-glazed pomegranate-shaped container (Fig. 4:10); a green-glazed tile (Fig. 4:11); and a lamp fragment (Fig. 4:12).
 
Bronze Items
Nitzan Amitai-Preiss
 
Three bronze items, most probably weights, the Mamluk ones could possibly be coins that could not be identified due to their poor state of preservation, were found. One is an oblate barrel-shaped item (L102; 7.08 gr; Fig. 5:1) that dates to the Abbasid or Fatimid periods. The other two date from the Mamluk period: one is in the shape of a parallelogram (L103; 3.35 g) and the other is rectangular (L104; 2.9 gr; Fig. 5:2). The two weights bear fragmentary inscriptions in Arabic. One word that can be seen is the digit "six". One of them has only one letter in each of the inscription’s three rows. On the other weight, the remains of the script are visible on one side; on the other side are written “رالا”—the letter R and the word “Allah” (i.e., God). It is likely that these are the remains of a longer word in Arabic, such as “Al-Imām”.
Three other items (L102—2.15 g, L103—15.81 g, L104—17.31 g; Figs. 5:3, 4) may be weights or bullets dating to the Ottoman period.
 
Archaeozoology
Nimrod Marom
 
The excavation in the large refuse pit on the outskirts of the Mamluk city revealed a small assemblage of animal bones. The assemblage was identified using as reference the comparative collection of the archaeozoological laboratory of the University of Haifa and was classified according to diagnostic areas. The bones were measured (Table 1), and butchering marks, signs of burning, chewing and weathering on their surface were noted. Epiphyseal fusion, teething and dental erosion were used to estimate the age of the animals at time of death. The relative frequency of species was calculated according to the number of identified bones (N) and the minimum animal unit (MAU), which relates to the number of bones in a whole skeleton and the age.
 
The bones from the refuse pit were relatively intact, with no signs of chewing, burning or weathering. A total of 25 bones were identified (Table 2) representing sheep/goat (N=21, 84%; MAU=3), including sheep (Ovis aries, N=3) and goats (Capra hircus, N=2); camels (Camelus dromedarius, N=3, 12%; MAU​=2); and cattle (Bos taurus, N=1, 4%; MAU​​=1). Mountain gazelle (Gazella gazella) were also present in the assemblage, based on a fragment of a horn. Obviously, the abundance of skeletal parts is affected by the size of the sample, and therefore one cannot infer from this data anything regarding the manner of consumption or deposition of the various farm animals. The presence of young animal bones (N=8, 33%) was relatively high among the sheep/goat bones; saw marks on two horns (including a gazelle horn), blows from a butcher’s cleaver on a pelvis and longitudinal cracking of a vertebra allude to the typical activity of processing animals in an urban environment, where there are professional butchers and experts specializing in the preparation of glue and bone tools. The high prevalence of young sheep/goat bones relative to those of cattle indicates that the people who deposited the refuse were involved in an urban economy, not based on agriculture but rather on the purchase of cattle for meat from specialized growers in the city’s hinterland.
 
Table 1. Bone measurements in millimeters

Taxon
Bone
Age
SD
GL
Dd
GLP
HTC
BT
Bd
Bp
Camel
Phalanx 1
U
 
 
 
 
 
 
36
 
Camel
Phalanx 1
F
25.5
110
 
 
 
 
50
53
Camel
Radius
F
 
 
 
 
 
 
82.5
 
Goat
Calcaneus
F
 
58
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sheep
Humerus
F
 
 
 
 
15
29
 
 
Sheep/goat
Scapula
F
 
30.4
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sheep/goat
Scapula
F
 
 
 
34
 
 
 
 
Sheep/goat
Scapula
F
 
 
 
37.5
 
 
 
 
Sheep/goat
Tibia
F
 
 
24
30.5
 
 
 
 
Sheep/goat
Tibia
F
 
 
27
 
 
 
31.5
 

 
Table 2. Frequency of species and skeletal parts. F = fused bone; U = Unfused bone

Bone
 
Sheep/goat
Camel
Cattle
Mandible
 
2
 
 
dp2
(1)
 
 
dp3
(1)
 
 
dp4
(1)
 
 
P2
(1)
 
 
P3
(1)
 
 
P4
(1)
 
 
M1/2
(2)
 
 
Scapula    
                
F
4
 
1
U
1
 
 
Humerus  
                
F
1
 
 
U
 
 
 
Radius       
                  
F
 
1
 
U
2
 
 
Pelvis        
                  
F
3
 
 
U
1
 
 
Femur       
                 
F
2
 
 
U
 
 
 
Tibia         
                 
F
2
 
 
U
1
 
 
Calcaneus
 
1
 
 
Metapodial
                  
F
 
 
 
U
1
 
 
Phalanx 1  
                  
F
 
1
 
U
 
1
 
Phalanx 2  
F
 
 
 
Phalanx 3  
U
 
 
 
N
21
3
1
%
84
12
4
MAU
3
2
1

 
The Glass Vessels
Tamar Winter
 
Several fragments of glass vessels were discovered in the large refuse pit (Fig. 6). This small assemblage represents the use of glass vessels over a wide chronological range during the Early and Late Islamic periods. Among them are a fragment of a greenish-blue jar or bottle with an infolded rim (L104; diam. 50 mm; Fig. 6:1) typical of the Umayyad period, and a fragment of a thin-walled colorless vessel, with an interior hollow fold (L106; estimated diam. 180 mm; Fig. 6:2) characteristic of the Early Islamic period. Similar vessels were unearthed in previous excavations in Ramla, for example, north of the White Mosque (Gorin-Rosen 2010: Pls. 10.6:13, 23; 10.7:1a). 
A neck and shoulder fragment of a small bottle (L100; Fig. 6:3), also found in the large refuse pit, was made of dark, probably opaque black glass, and adorned with marvered, opaque white, wavy trails—a decoration characteristic of the Mamluk period. Similar intact bottles, in the collection of the Israel Museum, date from the fourteenth century CE (Brosh 2003:382. Cat. Nos. 518, 519)..
 
Numismatics
Issa Baidoun and Robert Kool
 
Twenty-six coins were found, sixteen of which were identified (Table 3). All the coins, save one Ottoman coin (from the reign of Sultan Muhammad V, 1909–1918), are from the Mamluk period. Fourteen of the Mamluk coins date from the fourteenth century CE: from the reigns of al-Nasir Nasir al-Din Muhammad (1310–1341), al-Mansur Mahmud (1361–1363), al-Ashraf Shaʽban II (1363–1377), al-Salah Haji II (1381–1390) and Barquq (1389).
 
Table 3. Coins

Ruler
Locus
Date (CE)
Mint
IAA
al-Nasir Nasir al-Din Muhammad (Bahri)
104
1310–1341
Damascus
154822
al-Nasir Nasir al-Din Muhammad (Bahri)
106
1310–1341
 
154816
al-Mansur Mahmud (Mamluk)
104
1361–1363
Hammat
154818
al-Ashraf Shaʽban II (Mamluk)
106
1363–1377
Damascus
154817
al-Ashraf Shaʽban II (Mamluk)
104
1363–1377
Alexandria
154813
al-Ashraf Shaʽban II (Mamluk)
104
1363–1377
 
154811
al-Ashraf Shaʽban II (Mamluk)
104
1367
Cairo
154814
al-Ashraf Shaʽban II (Mamluk)
103
1370–1377
 
154810
al-Salah Haji II (Mamluk)
104
1381–1390
Alexandria
154812
Barquq (Mamluk)
103
1389
Cairo
154824
Barquq (Mamluk)
104
1389
Cairo
154821
Barquq (Mamluk)
103
1390–1399
Tripoli (Syria)
154825
Mamluk
104
Fourteenth–fifteenth centuries
 
154819
Mamluk
104
Fourteenth–fifteenth centuries
 
154815
Mamluk
103
1300–1350
 
154823
Mamluk
106
1350–1400
 
154820

 
 
The refuse pit partially exposed in the excavation apparently extended beyond the limits of the excavation. The depth of the pit (c. 2 m) indicates the prolonged period during which it was used. Along with the pottery vessels, which date mostly from the Mamluk period, 26 coins from the fourteenth century and the beginning of the fifteenth century CE were found, reflecting almost ninety years during which the refuse pit was in use. The location of the refuse pit seems to indicate its proximity to the outskirts of the city, thus marking the boundary of the expansion of the Mamluk-period city on the southeast. Future excavations will clarify the matter.