Phase I. Remains of an installation with mosaic floors were discovered in the northern part of the excavation. The installation had three sections that were separated by two walls (W113, W114; Fig. 1). Only the foundations of the walls survived. Marble panels that lined both sides of the walls remained in situ and it was possible to reconstruct the width of the walls and their outline. Wall 114 (presumed width c. 0.5 m) was built along a northwest–southeast axis. Wall 113 (length 1.8 m, width 0.5 m) was constructed along a northeast–southwest axis, and its foundations were built of small fieldstones bonded with gray mortar. The marble panels were preserved along the entire western face of W113, which partitioned one secton of the installation, in which a strip of a white mosaic pavement (L101; width 0.2 m) survived. Two Abbasid folles were found in that section: one coin was minted in Ramla and dates to 832 CE (IAA 139490; Fig. 2) and the other was not identified (IAA 139491). On the eastern face of W113, panels survived only on the northern part, which delineated another section of the installation (L108; 0.63 × 0.80 m, depth 0.33 m). Two marble slabs paved the southern third of this section, and a white mosaic the rest of it. The marble panels were probably used to repair the mosaic. In the northern and largest section of the installation (length c. 4.2 m, exposed width 2 m), fragments of mosaics were uncovered (L117; Fig. 3), decorated with geometric and zoomorphic patterns. A frame, made of rows of colored tesserae (black, white and red) separated the edges of the mosaic (width 0.25 m), which is made of white tesserae, from the central carpet which comprises three adjacent panels (0.8 × 0.8 m each), each decorated with polygons surrounding a bird. Only the middle and western carpets survived. The outline of each bird was traced with a single row of black tesserae. The beak, eyes, legs and neck were made of red tesserae. The upper part of the body and the head, were filled in with yellow tesserae. Given the length of the legs and the beak, the birds were presumably water fowl. Coiled rope ornamentation linked the polygons. The feet of the bird in the middle panel rested on top of an installation (L112; 1 × 1 m, depth 2 cm) whose floor was made of nine square marble slabs (0.32 × 0.32 m). A vertical clay pipe was connected to a recess in a round perforation (diam. 3 cm) in the center slab. The pipe descended to the southwest (depth 0.12 m). The top segment of the pipe was placed at a right angle and served as a tap. Subsequent segments (diam. 0.1 m, length 0.26 m; Fig. 4:12) were attached by a socket; the narrow part of each segment was inserted into the end of the previous (Fig. 5). It seems that the mosaic floor was originally delineated by six marble panels in a heraldic arrangement of three guilloches in the north and in the south. This part of the installation was probably a fountain (Fig. 6). A similar installation, also used as a fountain, was found in an excavation that was carried out farther north, parallel to the railroad tracks. Its floor was also repaired and a white mosaic floor was placed on the marble-slabs floor (Permit No. A-6903).
Phase II. A gray plaster floor (L107; Fig. 7) was set over the colored mosaic pavement of Phase I. A visible depression in the plaster (1.5 × 1.5 m, depth 4 cm) marked the place of the fountain. Small stones bonded with gray mortar were laid around the depression, and delineated the new installation. A channel (depth 7 cm) was built south of the installation, and integrated into the plaster that covered the mosaic floor. Its walls, which were built of small stones and gray mortar, survived. Installation 108 was also canceled and covered with a plaster floor that extended over the southern part of the excavation area and was preserved in several segments (L105, L106). The floor sections abutted a wall (W103; Fig. 8) and a channel (W104). The walls of the channel (outer width 0.5 m, inner width 0.35 m, depth 0.35 m) were aligned southeast–northwest, and preserved to a height of one course. They were built of long stones dressed on the inner face. Wall 113, which served as a partition between Rooms 105 and 106, was built of one row of coarsely dressed stones placed on a foundation of small fieldstones, several centimeters wider than the wall. At the eastern end of the wall, a flat stone was laid at lower elevation than the stones in the wall, and probably served as a threshold. Sections of the plaster floor abutted also this threshold.
Pottery. Pottery dating to the Abbasid and Fatimid periods was found above the floors and between the stones of the walls. It included a hemispherical bowl (Fig. 4:1), a Fine Byzantine Ware bowl (Fig. 4:2), a glazed bowl (Fig. 4:3), a monochrome glazed bowl (Fig. 4:4), a basin (Fig. 4:5), cooking pots (Fig. 4:6, 7), jars (Fig. 4:8, 9), a jug (Fig. 4:10) and a jar lid (Fig. 4:11). Bowl 1 dates to the Abbasid–Fatimid periods and similar bowls were found in Ramla (Torge 2008: Fig. 4:12, 13; Elisha 2009: Fig. 6:11). Bowl 2 belongs to a tradition that first appeared in the Byzantine period and continued until the Abbasid period (tenth century CE). Parallels to this vessel were also found in Ramla (Elisha 2009: Fig. 4:15; Avissar 2011: Fig. 12:7). Bowl 3 has a fairly small diameter and is dated, on the basis of other excavations throughout Ramla, to the ninth–tenth centuries CE (Kogan-Zehavi 2011: Fig. 4:3). The rim of Bowl 4 folds gently out. Similar bowls, which are characteristic of the Abbasid period, were found in Ramla (Re'em and Lego 2008: Fig. 3:1; Shlomi 2008: Fig. 2:1). Basin 5 dates to the Abbasid–Fatimid periods, and parallels to it were found in Ramla (Toueg 2008: Fig. 5:1; Torge 2008: Fig. 4:1). Cooking Pot 6 dates to the Abbasid period, and similar ones were found in Ramla (Shlomi 2007: Fig. 2:13). Cooking Pot 7 is also from the Abbasid period, and similar ones were found in Ramla (Nagorsky 2009: Fig. 11:14; Sion 2010a: Fig. 11:9). Jar 8 dates to the Abbasid period and parallels were found at Ramla (e.g. Sion 2009: Fig. 3:13). Jar 9 dates to the Abbasid period and similar vessels were found in Ramla (Sion 2009: Fig. 3:12, Sion 2010b: Fig. 9:9). Jug 10 is made of buff colored fabric and is decorated
with kerbschnitt. Vessels of this type have been found in numerous excavations in Ramla (Toueg 2012: Fig. 8:5), and at other sites such as Caesarea (Arnon 2008: P. 209, Type 531i) where they were dated from the second half of the ninth century CE to the eleventh century CE.
Glass. Twenty-five small glass fragments were discovered, most of them are non-diagnostic. Two, however, are noteworthy. One is a fragment of a bottle-neck made of greenish blue glass (diam. c. 2 cm) and decorated with a thin wavy trail. Similar bottles are characteristic of the Umayyad period. The second fragment is part of a wick-hole of a bowl-shaped oil lamp. The quality of the glass and its color date this lamp to the Abbasid period.
Two construction phases were exposed in the excavation. An installation consisting of three parts is ascribed to the early phase. The northern part of the installation was apparently a fountain in the courtyard of an affluent residence. Pottery that was discovered on the floors, date its construction to the beginning of the Abbasid period. In the late phase, the installation was canceled, the entire area was covered with a plaster floor, and a wall, channel and new installation were built. In light of the ceramic artifacts there was apparently no significant hiatus between the two construction phases.