In July 2013, a salvage excavation was conducted in the Eden Hotel at 36 Yefet Street in Yafo (Permit No. A-6875; map ref. 176777–824/662205–45; Fig. 1). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the LLC Company, was directed by Y. Elisha, with the assistance of Y. Marmelstein (area supervision), Y. Amrani and E. Bachar (administration), A. Peretz (field photography), V. Essman (surveying), N. Zak (plans), V. Eshed (physical anthropology), M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing), as well as A. Gorzalczany, M. Ajami and C. Sa‘id (IAA Central Region).
Two pit graves and one irregular, rock-hewn depression were excavated, and two walls, a floor and the continuation of a tunnel that passes beneath the hospital building were documented (Fig. 1, 2).
In both of the tombs (T100, T102; Figs. 3, 4), lower limb bones—part of a femur in T100 and a tibia in T102—of individuals in anatomic articulation, suggesting primary burial. The individuals were interred in an east–west direction, with their feet toward the east and their heads in the west; the individual in T100 was probably lying in a supine position. The ends of the limb bones in both of the tombs were fused to the body of the bone, a find characteristic of an individual over nineteen years of age (Johnston and Zimmer 1989
). The sex of the individuals could not be determined. A Crusader-period casserole (Fig. 5:4) and a fragment of an Ottoman-period porcelain bowl were found below T102, indicating that the tomb was disturbed and is therefore difficult to date.
Pottery sherds retrieved from rock depression (L103) included bowls (Fig. 5:1, 2) from the Early Islamic period and casseroles (Fig. 5:3, 5), cooking pots (Fig. 5:6, 7) and a jar (Fig. 5:8) from the Crusader period.
Two walls (W101, W106; Figs. 6, 7) dating to the Ottoman period were documented. A floor (L107; Fig. 8) located between them apparently abutted the walls; it was built of a layer of small stones on which gray mortar was applied.
The continuation of a tunnel (L10; Fig. 9) was cleared beneath the northern part of the hospital; it was probably constructed at the same time as the hospital. The tunnel is roofed with an ashlar-built barrel vault with ceramic pipes that were used to drain waste water set into its ceiling. This tunnel section connected to another section of a tunnel, which is built differently and is probably earlier. Its date and use are unclear, but its construction style suggest that it was built in the Crusader period. Items ascribed to the Ottoman and Mandatory periods were found in the soil accumulation in the earlier tunnel, but these were of no assistance in dating the construction of the tunnel and understanding its original use.
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