In June 2019, a trial excavation was conducted in Caesarea, east of Rothschild Street and west of the golf complex (Permit No. A-8542; map ref. 191222–99/711716–869; Fig. 1). The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by the Caesarea Development Company, was directed by M. Hater, with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), R. Mishayev (surveying and drafting), I. Jonish (field photography), P. Gendelman (pottery), Y. Tepper (scientific guidance), K. Sa‘id and M. Massarwa.
The excavation was conducted in four areas (A–D; Fig. 2) lies at the edge of the ancient city of Caesarea, approximately 200 m east of the eastern hippodrome and the Byzantine city wall. The excavation revealed agricultural installations and pottery dating from the Late Roman, Byzantine, and Early Islamic periods. The installations were probably part of a rural-agricultural hinterland that extended to the east of Caesarea’s city walls. A winepress from the Roman period was previously excavated nearby (Gendelman 2011).
In Area A (Fig. 3), at a depth of 0.25 m beneath the surface, a pile of rectangular kurkar stones and a kurkar column drum were documented.
In Area B (Figs. 4, 5), three layers were identified overlying a sand dune (L26). The lowest layer was composed of dark soil (L24; thickness c. 1 m) containing pottery (e.g., a Byzantine cooking pot, Fig. 6:6) and unidentified animal bones. The middle layer contained the remains of a structure (L22) paved with stone slabs. The bedding of the paving yielded Byzantine pottery, including imported bowls (Fig. 6:1–4), a cooking pot (Fig. 6:5) and jars (Fig. 6:7–13), as well as bathhouse tubuli (Fig. 6:14). A wall (W31) built in the upper layer, above the stone flooring, was preserved to the height of a single course.
A habitation level (thickness 5 cm) was unearthed in Area C. No diagnostic finds were retrieved.
Area D comprised a square building (L6; Figs. 7, 8) whose walls were founded on a sand dune. The building yielded pottery including a Galilean bowl (Fig. 9:1), a cooking pot (Fig. 9:2), a jar (Fig. 9:3) and an imported amphora (Fig. 9:4) dating from the Late Roman period, as well as a Byzantine red-slipped bowl (Fig. 9:5) and an ‘Abbasid zoomorphic vessel (Fig. 9:6). The building was therefore probably abandoned during the ‘Abbasid period.