Phase III (Fig. 2)
The remains from this phase were fragmented and difficult to comprehend. A section of a very thin plaster floor (L126), lying on natural sand, was exposed in Sq 2A. The foundations of a wall from Phase II (see below, W4) were dug into the northern part of this floor. An installation (L125) that was delimited on the northwest by a row of flat fieldstones, which curved slightly toward the northeast, was exposed in Sq 1B. East of the row of stones was a narrow plastered strip that may have been part of the installation’s floor. Only the northwestern part of the installation was preserved. A plastered floor (L136) abutted the installation. A pale white plaster floor (L127, L132), into which the foundations of a wall from Phase II (see below, W6) were dug, was exposed in Sq 2B. A plaster floor (L124), into which the foundations of a wall from Phase I were dug (see below, W2), was exposed in Sq 3B. Stone heaps (L145) piled on top of the sand were exposed in Sq 6A.
Phase II (Fig. 3)
Most of the architectural finds were exposed in the eastern and northern part of the excavated area. Mostly courtyard floors and wall stumps were exposed in the southern and western parts. The outer wall of a building (W4; length 11 m, height 1 m), preserved three courses high, was exposed in the northeastern part of the excavation (Squares 1C, 2C, 3C). The stones of the wall were roughly hewn on their southern side and set without mortar. The eastern part of the wall was exposed and a threshold stone was incorporated in its western end. A robber trench (L150) that continued along the line of the wall was discovered west of the threshold stone. The southeastern end W4 formed a corner with another outer wall (W8; height 1 m), which was preserved three courses high. Two secondary walls (W9, W10) that divided the complex into rooms were revealed northwest of W4.
Whitish plaster floors (L142–L144) that abutted the walls were exposed in the building’s interior. An ashlar-built work surface was exposed west of W9 near a small kiln (L146; outer diam. 1.3 m, inner diam. 0.8 m, min. depth 0.5 m) that was probably used to fire pottery. The kiln was dug into the floor of the building. Its sides were built of fieldstones and only their upper ends protruded above the floor level. The bottom of the kiln was not exposed. Dozens of fragmentary kiln bars were discovered next to the kiln and throughout the entire excavation area. Light colored plaster floors (L112–L114) that abutted W4 at the same elevation were exposed south of the building (Squares 1A, 2A and 3A). Plaster floors (L115, L116) and wall segments (W5, W11) that did not connect to form a coherent plan were exposed in Squares 4A, 5A and 6A. The floors and walls were set directly on top of the sand and accordingly, it is assumed that the construction of Phase III did not reach these squares. All that survived of W11 was a single ashlar that rested on top of Floor 115 and a short section of a robber trench. Wall 5 (length 2 m) was abutted by Floor 116; one of its courses was preserved above the floor level and one course below it.
Wall segments (W6, W7) oriented in opposite directions were excavated in Squares 1B and 2B. The walls did not connect to form a clear plan. Wall 7 (length c. 2 m), abutted by a plaster floor (L119), was built of partly hewn stones on the foundations of Installation 125 of Phase III and survived a single course high. Wall 6 (length 2 m), abutted by a floor (L120), was built of fieldstones, which were roughly dressed on the outer side, as well as fieldstones and gray mortar; it was preserved a single course high. A dressed stone, probably part of an installation, was incorporated in secondary use in the western part of the wall.
Plaster floors (L117, L121), without any architectural elements, were exposed in Squares 3B and 4B.
Phase I (Fig. 4)
The finds from this phase included mostly plaster floors. Very few walls and installations were exposed. Floors (L139–L141) that covered walls from Phase II were discovered in the three northern squares (1C, 2C, 3C). Floor 139 covered Walls 4 and 8; Floor 140 covered Wall 9 and Floor 141 covered Wall 10. A water channel (L147; length c. 1.5 m, outer width 0.25 m, inner width 0.08 m, height 0.12 m), built of narrow stone slabs that were coated on the inside with white plaster, was exposed next to the western balk of Sq 3C.
Plaster floors (L101–L111, L130, L131) that sealed the finds of Phase II were also exposed in the rest of the squares. Floors 102 and 111 in Sq 1B were superposed, probably indicating that they were repaired and their level was raised.
A severed wall (W2), built of roughly hewn stones and abutting Floor 106, was exposed in Sq 3B. The wall’s foundations cut Floor 124 of Phase III.
Most of the pottery from all the phases, including those found beneath the floors of Phase III, dated to the ninth–tenth centuries CE; therefore, it is impossible to date the phases accurately. The three phases probably dated to these centuries and the chronological differences between them were fairly short.
A residential building that apparently incorporated a pottery workshop was discovered in the excavation. Since the building did not exist in the first phase and was canceled in the third phase it seems that its duration was a short one. The walls of the structure, which were built of ashlars, reflect the high quality of the building’s construction. The remains northeast of the Old City of Ramla lie between Ramla and Lod, and there is no way of knowing if the building was actually situated inside the city of Ramla, or in the industrial periphery that was adjacent to these two cities.