Elena Kogan-Zehavi
Final Report
During March–April 2005, a trial excavation was conducted at the Ono site in Or Yehuda (Permit No. A-4419; map ref. 18772–5/65924–7; HA-ESI 122), after a heap of potsherds was discovered while widening a street. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by E. Kogan-Zehavi, with the assistance of T. Sagiv (field photography), C. Hersch (pottery drawing) and I. Milevski (identification of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age potsherds).
The excavation area was located east of the hill where the Ono site is situated and west of the Mamluk cemetery that was exposed in the past (Permit No. A-3023; License No. B-33/1996). Three half squares, aligned north–south, were opened at 5 m intervals. A refuse pit was exposed in each of the squares at a depth of 1.5 m below the surface; it contained pieces of broken mud bricks, slag and numerous potsherds, some of which were distorted (Fig. 1). The refuse in the pits was the debris of a pottery kiln. The largest amount of potsherds and fired mud-brick fragments was discovered in the northern square, possibly because it was located closest to the kiln. The ceramic artifacts dated to the seventh–eighth centuries CE and included jar fragments (Fig. 2:6–12), most of which are Gaza type jars, and a Late Roman C bowl (Fig. 2:5). Based on the ceramic finds, it seems that the kiln operating nearby mostly produced Gaza jars. To date, kilns that manufactured Gaza jars are only known from the southern coastal plain.
Dark gray alluvium, which contained several sherds, including two bowl rims (Fig. 2:1, 2) and a base of a southern type jar (Fig. 2:3), dating to the Early Bronze Age, and a lug handle from the Chalcolithic period (Fig. 2:4), was exposed at the bottom of the refuse pits. These sherds may point to the presence of a settlement from these periods whose remains are located at a greater depth.
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