The excavation, conducted southeast of the southwest gate and c. 100 m northwest of the ‘House of Leontis’ Synagogue, unearthed three strata (c. 70 sq m; Fig. 2): Stratum III—an alluvial layer that contained Chalcolithic flint tools and Early Bronze Age I pottery; Stratum II—remains of a large building from the Roman period (second–fourth centuries CE), containing rooms and a courtyard; Stratum I—walls, channels and occupation layers from the Byzantine period (fourth–seventh centuries CE).
Stratum III. At the base of a Stratum II wall (W2) and to its west, an alluvial layer of gray soil and small fieldstones (L41) was excavated. It contained flint implements from the Chalcolithic period and pottery from the Early Bronze Age I. Of the five flint items recovered, two bifacial tools were identified: an axe and a chisel. The axe is made of pinkish flint and was very worn; it had probably been washed in with the soil. The other items were well-preserved flakes of grayish yellow flint. The two tools belong to a group of tools that first appeared early in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period and is common in assemblages until the Chalcolithic period (Barkai and Yerkes 2008; Barkai 2011). The Early Bronze Age I pottery assemblage contains a variety of vessels, including three jar fragments (Fig. 3).
Stratum II yielded the southern part of a large, monumental building that probably contained a courtyard (length c. 20 m) and a series of rooms; the building apparently continued beyond the limits of the excavation.Three of the courtyard’s enclosure walls (W2, W11, W12) were unearthed. The western wall (W2; exposed length 3.8 m, width 1.8 m) was preserved to a height of two courses and probably joined W11, which was perpendicular to it. The wall was built of basalt and limestone fieldstones founded on a layer of alluvial gray soil (Stratum III; L41). The southern wall of the courtyard (W11; exposed length 30 m, width 1 m) was built in dry construction of large basalt fieldstones and gray soil and was preserved to a height of two–three courses. A layer of small fieldstones jutting out on either side of the wall and laid on an alluvial layer served as the foundation of the wall. Large sections of the western part of the wall were dismantled down to the foundation; its eastern part was demolished in the Byzantine period.
The floor of the courtyard (L14, L18), made of small basalt and limestone fieldstones, abutted its walls and was covered by a fill of bathhouse debris (Fig. 4): small fieldstones, tesserae, fragments of clay pipes, roof tiles, pieces of plaster and potsherds from the Roman period. The ceramic finds included a red burnished Italian Sigillata bowl with a flat base (Fig. 5:1), dated to the first century CE; a curved-wall bowl (Fig. 5:2) resembling mid-first century CE Phoenician bowls; a closed cooking pot (Fig. 5:3) of the Kefar Hananya C4 type, dated to 135–300 CE and similar to examples found at Zippori (Balouka 2013: Pl. 15:15); a collared-neck jar with a triangular rim (Fig. 5:4), a type that in both the Caesareum at Bet She’an and at Machaerus (Sandhaus 2007:119, Fig. 6.2:6–7; Loffreda 1996:47, Fig. 16:11, 12) was dated to the interim period between the revolts, 70–135 CE; and a jar with a grooved rim and shallow ribbing on the shoulder (Fig. 5:5), a type that was more common in the southern region and dates from the first–second centuries CE.
Three rooms (A–C) were exposed in the east wing. The southern part of Room A, rectangular in shape (exposed length 8 m, width 3.8 m), was excavated down to the level of the wall foundations. All the room’s walls, built of basalt fieldstones and gray soil, and preserved to a height of four courses, were probably founded on a layer of travertine rock. The foundations of the walls contained Roman-period potsherds, including Italian Sigillata ware, dating from the first century CE (L33; not drawn). The room’s floor (L26), made of crushed chalk and gray soil, abutted its walls and was laid over the travertine bedrock (Fig. 6). Above the floor was a layer of fill consisting of light-colored soil and travertine stones along with a few basalt fieldstones and chunks of plaster (L19). The fill contained pottery from the Roman period, including Kefar Hananya casseroles (Type 3A; Fig. 7:1, 2) with a barrel-like body and a gutter for a lid, a type that was in use from the mid-first century CE until the mid-second century CE; a casserole (Fig. 7:3) with a barrel-shaped body and a grooved rim, dating from the second–mid-third century CE and of a type commonly found at Galilean sites; an open cooking pot with ledge handles (Fig. 7:4), dated to the first–second centuries CE, with matching shallow, ribbed lids (Fig. 7:5, 6); collar-necked jars with a triangular rim (Fig. 7:7, 8), which were common in the Lower Galilee region and valleys and have been discovered at Zippori, where they date to 70–135 CE (Balouka 2013: Pl. 6:64, SJ3); a jar (Fig. 7:9) with a gradated neck and an out-splayed rim with a shallow gutter, probably for a lid, of a type found at Zippori and dated to the Middle Roman period (second–third centuries CE); an amphora (Fig. 7:10) of a type found in first-century CE assemblages at Jericho (Bar-Nathan 2002: Pl. 22:372); a collared-rim flask (Fig. 7:11) with a flattened body and a straight neck or one converging toward the join with the body, which is dated to the first century CE and resembles pre-70 CE examples at Jericho (Bar-Nathan 2002:169); and a two-handled strainer jug (Fig. 7:12) made of levigated clay, similar to finds in Roman-period assemblages from Zippori (Strange 2006: Fig. 6.23:2).
The western part of Room B (length 3.8 m, width unknown) was only partially exposed, but its eastern part was excavated down to the floor level (Stratum I). The floor (L29), made of crushed chalkand gray soil, abutted the wall of the room. Above the floor was a layer of fill (L10) of light-colored soil and travertine stones, several basalt fieldstones and chunks of plaster. The fill included potsherds from the Roman period, including a jar (Fig. 7:13), with a stepped neck and an everted rim that has a shallow gutter, probably to fit a lid. Similar jars were found in Zippori, where they were dated to the Middle Roman period (second–third centuries CE). 
Room C is rectangular (2 × 4 m interior dimensions; Fig. 8); only the tops of the walls were exposed.
Stratum I. The Roman building continued to be occupied during the Byzantine period, when the construction of channels and the elevation of floors. In Room A, a section of a floor (L13) paved with medium-sized basalt fieldstones founded on a layer of fill (L19; Stratum II) was exposed along W12. A north–south drainage channel (CH1; exposed length 5.8 m) was installed in the bedding of the floor adjacent to W12; its southern part cuts into W11 and continues beyond the limits of the excavation. The channel was covered with basalt fieldstones bonded with plaster (W20) and was filled with a layer of gray travertine soil (L39) that contained a few small basalt fieldstones and potsherds. The floor and walls of the channel (width 0.15 m, height 0.2 m; Fig. 9) were built of backed bricks bonded together and coated with pinkish orange plaster.
The floor in Room B (L29; Fig. 10) was partly preserved; it consisted of medium-sized basalt fieldstones and gray soil, a composition identical to that of the floor in Room A. A clay pipe (CH2; exposed length 2 m) lined with fieldstones was uncovered. No remains from the Byzantine period were found in Room C.
A layer of alluvium covering the floors of the three rooms (L3, L10, L34) contained Roman and Byzantine pottery, a basalt grinding stone (see Fig. 12:4), and twelve bronze coins; the only three that could be identified date from the fourth century CE:
Ruler/Date (CE)
DN CONSTANTINVS AVG, wreath containing: VOT XX
Constantine I, 324-327
wreath containing:
Constans I, 341-346
A floor bedding and an east–west wall (W44; exposed length 0.88 m) were exposed in the western part of the building. The wall, preserved to the height of a single course, was built of dry construction with large, coarsely dressed basalt stones founded on a layer of small fieldstones and gray soil (L7). Its west end is perpendicular to W2 (Stratum II); its east part extended beyond the limits of the excavation. Remains of a floor bedding (L21; thickness 0.2 m; Fig. 11) were unearthed north of W44. It abutted W2 and was made of small basalt fieldstones covered with travertine and mixed with some chalk and gray soil. This layer covered the remains of a floor from Stratum II (L18). Potsherds from the Roman and Byzantine periods were found in the floor bedding, including two Byzantine bowls (Fig. 12:1, 2) made of brown clay mixed with numerous gray inclusions. The bowls, of local ware, are characteristic of the Bet She’an region (Avissar 2014: Fig. 3:4, 6) and date from the fourth–early seventh centuries CE. Also found was an open cooking pot with ledge handles (Fig. 12:3) of a type that appeared as early as the first century CE at Shiqmona (Elgavish 1977: Pl. IV:21), although dated to the first–second centuries CE at Machaerus in Transjordan and found in Nazareth in strata from the second–third centuries CE (Loffreda 1996: Fig. 35:11); Above the foundation of the floor was an alluvial layer of gray soil and small travertine stones (L1) that contained fragments of roof tiles and Byzantine-period pottery (not drawn).
The excavation expanded our knowledge regarding the settlement in the Chalcolithic period and Early Bronze Age I, and the extent of the city of Nysa-Scythopolis in the Roman and Byzantine periods. The flint tools from the Chalcolithic period may have been part of an ancient industry previously exposed nearby (Zori 1962:188). The Early Bronze Age I pottery recovered from the foundations of the Roman building attest to activity during this period in the region. The building dated to Roman and Byzantine periods, as well as the remains of the bathhouse discovered beneath the ‘House of Leontis’, attest to the presence of a monumental public building near the ‘Neapolis’ city gate. The dismantling of the Roman bathhouse, some of whose pipes and bricks were uncovered in the excavation, indicates a significant change in urban planning in the Byzantine period. It seems that construction during this period over the remains of the Roman buildings included not only the city walls, but also residential buildings, mansions and villas, indicating that the Byzantine city expanded beyond its walls.
With the Islamic conquest, at the end of the Byzantine period – that beginning of the Early Islamic period (first half of the seventh century CE), the building was abandoned and fell into disuse.