Stratum II. The northern part of a thick-walled building, oriented in an approximate north–south direction, was uncovered (width 4.5 m, maximum height exposed 1.2 m). The walls (W108, W110, W112, W113) were built of two rows of dressed stones with an interior fill of small fieldstones. Walls 108 and 112 formed the northeastern corner of the building (Fig. 3), while W108 and W110 formed the northwestern corner (Fig. 4). The doorway (width c. 0.9 m) was set in W108, the northern wall. The floor (L114) abutting the walls, was built of flat stone slabs in secondary use. Sherds from the Fatimid–Crusader periods (see below) were retrieved on Floor 114, dating the last use of the building to the Crusader period. In the northern part of the excavation square, part of a broad wall (W101), built of stones in secondary use was exposed for one course; it extends northwards beyond the excavation limits.
Stratum I. Remains of a narrow, rectangular room were uncovered, built on an approximate east–west axis, and partly overlying the walls of the Stratum II building (Figs. 5–7). The walls (W102, W103, W109) were built of various-sized fieldstones, and were preserved for a single course. In the eastern part of W103, a square pier was built over the earlier W108. The northern wall, W109, was built against Stratum II Wall 101, together forming a particularly broad wall. The doorway of the room was located in its eastern wall. Outside the room, a staircase or doorway was found, abutting the corner formed by Stratum II Walls 108 and 112. The floor of the room (L106) was built of large, flat stones in secondary use, and it abutted the walls. Sherds from the Mamluk period (see below) were found in the accumulation layer on Floor 106, indicating that the room was both built, and went out of use in the Mamluk period.
Pottery finds. Pottery dating from the Byzantine to the Mamluk periods was retrieved in the excavation. The pottery sherds from the Byzantine to Umayyad periods, include a rim fragment of an open bowl (Fig. 8:1), found in the foundation layer of the Stratum I floor (L117), and rims of two kraters (Fig. 8:2, 3) retrieved in a pile of collapsed stones (L105) that covered the Stratum II remains. The Abbasid period sherds include the base of an open bowl (Fig. 8:4), found in the Stratum I floor. These sherds were apparently not in situ finds.
The ceramic finds from the Fatimid–Crusader periods (Stratum II), include the rim of an open bowl (Fig. 9:1), unearthed in a soil accumulation (L104) on the Stratum I floor, a cooking casserole (Fig. 9:2), a cooking pot (Fig. 9:4) and a complete lamp (Fig. 9:5), discovered on the Stratum II floor, and another cooking pot (Fig. 9:3), unearthed below the Stratum II floor. The three cooking vessels were imported, reflecting the ties of the site’s inhabitants with northern Lebanon in this period.
The pottery finds from the Mamluk period (Stratum I), include many bowl fragments (Fig. 10:1–6) retrieved in a soil accumulation (L104) on the Stratum I floor, and in the layer of collapsed stones (L105) covering the Stratum II remains.
Glass finds. Two fragments of glass vessels dating to the Middle Ages, were found (not illustrated). One was a fragment of a simple, colorless glass rim of a jar with a conical body tapering toward the base (L111); this fragment could not be typologically attributed specifically to the Crusader or to the Mamluk period. The other was a fragment of a base of a cosmetic container (L105), probably dating to the Mamluk period.
This is the first excavation conducted at Horbat Ram, revealing the remains of a building with two construction phases, dated to the Fatimid–Crusader periods (Stratum II), and the Mamluk period (Stratum I). These remains are the first archaeological evidence for activity at Fassuta in the Crusader period, reflecting the descriptions in the historical sources. Sherds from the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods also indicate a presence at the site in these periods.