Three excavation squares (75 sq m) were opened, unearthing an Ottoman-period agricultural installation (L104; width 2 m; Figs. 2, 3). The installation consisted of an east–west-aligned fieldstone surface. The excavation encountered a marshy area in the eastern part of the installation (L103), as a consequence of which work was halted at that locus; it was already apparent while digging trial trenches prior to the excavation that the area was waterlogged, as they rapidly filled with groundwater. The excavation yielded a large quantity of pottery dating from the Ottoman period (eighteenth–nineteenth centuries CE). Much of the pottery is coated with hydraulic plaster, and the assemblage contains saqiye-jar fragments—both indicating the presence of a water-related installation. The pottery includes bowls (Fig. 4:1–6), a Kütahya Ware cup (Fig. 4:7), cooking pots (Fig. 4:8), a jar (Fig. 4:9) and a jug (Fig. 4:10); most of the ware is locally produced, and only some is imported. The excavation also yielded two pieces of glass (Gorin-Rosen, below) and fragments of clay tobacco pipes (see Appendix) dating from the Ottoman period.
The excavation area is documented on the 1799 Jacotin map as a marshy area outside the Ottoman city wall. The British survey also marks the area to the north of the wall as marshland (Conder and Kitchener 1880: Fig. 3). Both these sources reinforce our interpretation of the installation uncovered in the excavation as water related. It may have served as a dam built to prevent flooding or possibly a wall between agricultural plots.
Glass Finds
Yael Gorin-Rosen
The excavation yielded two diagnostic glass fragments (not drawn). One is part of a thick, round windowpane (L105) with a hollow out-folded rim, made of poor-quality bluish green glass containing many bubbles. Round windowpanes with folded rims, like this pane, are usually associated with bathhouses from the Crusader–Ottoman periods. Thinner panes of a similar type were found in a Crusader bathhouse complex in ‘Akko, not far from the current excavation site (Gorin-Rosen 2013:111–113). Thick panes resembling the one found in the excavation have also been found in complexes dating from the Ottoman period.
The other fragment is part of a factory-made glass bottle (L104) made of dark green glass. The bottle is cylindrical, its base is pushed-in, and a rough scar surrounds the deep depression. Although the bottle was industrially manufactured, the inward depression on the base is a familiar characteristic of traditional, hand-blown ware. This feature may indicate that the fragment dates from early in the industrial production of bottles.