The bottom stratum consisted of natural terra rosa soil above bedrock, which contained several finds dating to the Iron Age, and the Hellenistic and Roman periods. An interesting artifact recovered from this stratum was a ceramic tile fragment bearing the stamp of the Tenth Roman Legion (Fig. 3).
A drainage system (Figs. 4:2a; 6), including conduits covered with stone slabs (Figs. 4:1a, 1b, 1c; 5), which led to a large water reservoir with a flat bottom and a vaulted ceiling, was partially excavated and ascribed to the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods (fifth–tenth centuries CE). The water reservoir had thick walls built of small stones bonded with cement. Its interior was lined with a layer of reddish plaster that contained crushed potsherds. North of the reservoir, the exterior face of another water reservoir, located beyond the limits of the excavation, was exposed for a distance of 12 m (Fig. 4:2b). Tamped earthen levels from these periods, serving as habitation levels, were uncovered close to the drainage conduits and the water reservoir and aided in dating them.
The western exterior wall’s foundation courses of a square tower (11.8 × 11.8 m), dating to the Middle Ages, were exposed below the Old City wall of the Ottoman period (Figs. 4:3; 7). The tower had been known from previous excavations that were conducted around its southeastern corner, in the courtyard of the Knights’ Palace Hotel inside the Old City (HA-ESI 113:79*–80*). It was incorporated within the city wall that was built at that time or slightly later and was dated to the Ayyubid period (the end of the twelfth–beginning of the thirteenth centuries CE). A small section of a beaten-earth floor from this period was exposed west of the tower. The Ayyubid tower was built of large square stones bonded with cement. Its corner stones were dressed with drafted margins, using a multi-point hammer and a crudely worked boss was left in the center.
In the Ottoman period, during the second quarter of the sixteenth century CE, the old city wall was built by the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. The Ottoman wall was positioned directly above the remains of the Ayyubid fortifications or over a foundation of fieldstones bonded with gray cement. The Ottoman occupation level close to the wall was missing. It was probably removed during the clean-up operation conducted around the city walls after 1967, or beforehand. Finds from this level were exposed in the two backhoe-dug probes along the trench and included sections of plastered floors and a water cistern.