In May 2018, a salvage excavation was conducted in a private plot on Tchernichovsky Street in the Newe Yaraq neighborhood of Lod (Permit No. A-8290; map ref. 190792–810/651680–701; Fig. 1). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by Mr. Eliwa Ibrahim, was directed by S. Krispin (photography), with the assistance of P. Gendelman and H. Torgë (pottery reading), D.T. Ariel (numismatics), L. Brailovsky (flint tool), M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing), A. Karasik (digital documentation of the flint tool), V. Nosikovsky (metallurgical laboratory), M. Kahan (surveying and drafting), I.E. Delerson (plans) and Y. Amrani and E. Bachar (administration).
The excavation, conducted in two squares (50 sq m), was located on the southeast side of Tel Lod, near the west bank of Nah
al Ayyalon. Numerous previous surveys and excavations at the tell have revealed an extensive settlement continuum from the Pottery Neolithic period (approximately 8,000 years BP) to the present day (Kaplan 1977
; Yannai and Mardar 2000
; Arbel 2004
; Weinberger 2005
; Golani 2012
The excavation yielded poorly preserved architectural remains (Fig. 2) dating from the Late Roman to the Early Islamic periods.
The northern half of the southern square (Fig. 3) yielded traces of a stone surface (L108) composed of small fieldstones, small pebbles and potsherds. This is probably the bedding of a floor, which did not survive. The surface was dated by a Roman-period bowl (Fig. 4:3), a Byzantine-period jar rim (Fig. 4:6) and a jar rim from the Early Islamic period (Fig. 4:7), which were recovered from a probe in its western part (L111; Fig. 2: section 2–2). An accumulation on top of the surface (L105) contained the rim of an Iron Age II holemouth jar (Fig. 4:2), a Roman-period Terra Sigillata bowl (Fig. 4:4) and a bowl from the Byzantine period (Fig. 4:5).
The northern half of the northern square yielded poorly preserved remains of three wall foundations. The remains of two were uncovered in the northeast part of the square: a single course of pebbles and fieldstones, mostly small ones, built along an east–west axis (W106; preserved length c. 3 m, width c. 0.5 m, height c. 0.2 m), joined on the north by one course built of two rows of medium-sized fieldstones along a north–south axis (W107; preserved length c. 1 m, width c. 0.6 m, height c. 0.2 m). A probe to the north of the juncture of the two walls (L110; Fig. 2: Section 1–1) yielded body fragments of jars from the Byzantine period (not drawn), a flint tool (Brailovsky, below; Fig. 5) and a Valentinian I coin (364–375 CE, minted in Cyzicus; IAA 165129); the probe reached the sterile dune. The remains of the third wall foundation was unearthed in the northwest of the excavation square: one course constructed along a north–south axis (W109; c. 1.5 m preserved length, c. 0.5 m wide, c. 5 cm high) of pebbles and fieldstones, mostly small. Potsherds dating from the Late Roman to the Early Islamic period (not drawn) and a bowl rim from Iron Age II (Fig. 4:1) were found in the accumulation above these remains, as were two coins: a follis of Licinius I (321–324 CE; IAA 165127), minted in Nicomedia; and a coin of Constantius II (337–341 CE; IAA 165128), minted in Constantinople.
The single flint item retrieved from the excavation is a geometric sickle blade shaped like a square (L110, B1016; 28 × 33 mm, thickness 7 mm; Fig. 5). The tool was fashioned on a broad blade from local flint of mediocre quality, using an abrupt retouch to form a back on its left side and a truncation at each end. The blade bears none of the sickle sheen characteristic of this type of tool. Geometric sickle blades first appeared in the Middle Bronze Age and continued to be used into and during the Iron Age (Rosen 1997
The excavation uncovered the poorly preserved remains of three walls and a stone surface. Based on the ceramic and the numismatic finds, these remains should be dated to the Late Roman and Byzantine periods, and the abandonment of the site—to the Early Islamic period.
Kaplan J. 1977. Neolithic and Chalcolithic Remains at Lod. Eretz-Israel 13:57–75 (Hebrew; English summary 291*–292*).
Rosen S.A. 1997. Lithics After the Stone Age: A Handbook of Stone Tools from the
Levant. Walnut Creek.
Yannai E. and Marder O. 2000. Lod. HA-ESI 112:63*–65*.