In February 2007, a small excavation was conducted on Balfour Street in Nahariyya (Permit No. A-5040; map ref. 20888/76798; Fig. 1). The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by N. Getzov (photography, surveying, drafting and pottery drawing), with the assistance of Y. Lerer (district antiquities inspector), Y. Yaʽaqobi (administration), A. Shapiro (GPS), A. Grishna (registration) and a team of four laborers.
The current excavation took place outside the presumed route of the wall (Fig. 1, 2), exposing three strata, including a habitation layer:
Stratum III consisted of a natural accumulation of clay sediment mixed with sand; the upper part of the layer was reddish brown and the lower part was dark gray. Layers of natural sediment were found elsewhere at the site that separated the archaeological strata, and therefore, a small deep section was excavated in the clay sediment down to sea level (at a depth of 4.5 m below the surface). No finds indicative of human activity were discovered in this sediment from the time of its deposition.
Stratum II was characterized by an accumulation (thickness 0.6 m) of light gray clay mixed with sand. A great many pottery sherds and scant remains of a wall built of coastal kurkar fieldstones were found. The remains of the layer were mainly found in the northern part of the excavation area; it seems that in the southern part of the area, the remains were damaged when a modern building was constructed there in the 1950s. The ceramic finds included fragments of pottery vessels dating to most of the periods known on the tell: cooking pots (Fig. 3:1, 2) and a jar decorated with incising (Fig. 3:3), from the Middle Bronze Age; a bilbil (Fig. 3:4) and a fragment of a milk bowl (not drawn) from the Late Bronze Age; bowls (Fig. 3:5, 6) and a cooking pot (Fig. 3:7) from the Iron Age; and jars (Fig. 3:8, 9) from the Persian period. Since no artifacts were discovered that post-date the Persian period, it seems that the wall remains should be dated to this time.
Stratum I consisted of sand mixed with a little clay and modern building debris. The accumulation postdated the archaeological remains at the site that had sustained damage following the modern construction.
The meager remains found at the site indicate that during most of the archaeological periods, it was located outside the boundaries of the settlement. It was apparently only during the Persian period, when settlement on the mound was at its apex, that buildings were also constructed in this area. Pottery sherds from other periods may derive from refuse that was discarded from the settlement and probably had been washed down the side of the tell with the erosion.
The pottery sherds from the Iron Age, which should be dated to the end of the eighth or seventh century BCE, are especially important. Sherds from this period were first discovered in a nearby excavation (Getzov and Lerer 2008), and they reveal that the Iron Age settlement was larger than those of the Middle and Late Bronze Ages. The pottery sherds that were found in the current excavation corroborate this assessment.
Getzov N. 2014. Nahariyya and Mesad ʽEn Tamir – Two Fortified Buildings from the Middle Bronze Ge in the Western Galilee. In M. Aviʽam “From Watch Tower to Fortified City”, Forts and Fortresses in Northern Israel from the Canaanites to the IDF
. (Land of Galilee 3). Pp. 11–19 (Hebrew).
Getzov N. and Lerer Y. 2008. Nahariyya. HA-ESI 120
Yogev O. 1981. Nahariyya. HA 74–75:8–9 (Hebrew).