Stratum 1 (Fig. 1)

Three robber trenches (width 0.5–0.7 m, depth c. 0.5 m) that penetrated Stratum 2 were exposed; they were originally excavated for the purpose of removing the masonry stones of an installation and the covering stones of a drainage conduit that led to a water cistern. Two trenches (L104) were dug north and east of the installation and another trench (L101), which may be indicative of another wall that was not preserved, was dug in the northern part of the square. The robber trenches could not be dated, but we assume they were dug after the installation (L103) and the water cistern (L102) were no longer in use.

The pottery vessels recovered from the soil fill in the robber trenches were of no assistance in dating the stratum. The various vessels consisted mostly of Mafjar-type vessels from the Abbasid period (Fig. 2:1–6, 8–10) and two vessels that dated to the Umayyad period (Fig. 2:7, 11). The assemblage included bowls (Fig. 2:1–3) jugs and juglets (Fig. 2:4–6) and jars (Fig. 2:7–11). Some of the vessels were made of buff-colored clay (Fig. 2:4, 5, 8–10). The vessels were adorned with incising (Fig. 2:4, 8), reed impressions (Fig. 2:9) and barbotine decorations (Fig. 2:10). A handle (Fig. 2:11), bearing an X-shaped potter’s mark was found, as well as a fragment of a Gaza-type jar, characteristic of the Umayyad period (Fig. 2:7).



Stratum 2

A built installation that included two square basins, plastered on the interior (L103, L107), was exposed in the western part of the square. The core of Basin 103’s walls was built of fieldstones (10 × 10 cm) and bonded with white material that contained bits of charcoal. The walls, damaged when the robber trenches of Stratum 1 were dug, were only partially preserved (width 0.2–0.4 m; max. height 0.6 m). At the outer corner of the northern and eastern walls a square pillar (0.4 × 0.6 m), which was meant to reinforce the installation and allow it to withstand the pressure created by the liquid inside it, was built. The interior of the installation was coated with five plaster layers (each 3–5 cm thick). The four lower layers consisted of white plaster mixed with bits of charcoal and the upper, outer layer was composed of white plaster mixed with potsherds (10 × 10 cm) that could not be dated.

A circular water cistern was exposed south of the installation. It was covered with a vault (L102) built of small fieldstones (0.15 × 0.15 m) and bonded with gray material. The interior face of the cistern’s wall was coated with a layer of plaster mixed with ceramic body sherds (10 × 10 cm). Water flowed to the cistern through a feeder channel, installed in its northern part, which was built of an inner ceramic pipe lined with small fieldstones (10 × 10 cm) and covered with square flagstones (0.05 × 0.35 × 0.50 m). The point where the feeder pipe connected to the water cistern was not preserved. An intact mold-made clay lamp, decorated with a floral pattern characteristic of the Umayyad period (Fig. 3:9), was discovered inside the cistern.

Tamped plaster floors, damaged by the robber trenches from Stratum 1, were exposed in the northern and eastern parts of the square. The ceramic finds from Stratum 2 were composed of various vessels characteristic of the end of the Umayyad–beginning of the Abbasid period (eighth–ninth centuries CE), including a krater decorated with combing (Fig. 3:1), a shallow bowl of buff clay (Fig. 3:2), a shallow FIW-type bowl (Fig. 3:3) and a Color Splash bowl with a base ring that is decorated with bluish/green glaze over white slip (Fig. 3:4), a FIW cup (Fig. 3:5), baggy-shaped jars (Fig. 3:6, 7) and a fragment of a vessel that may be a jug decorated with fine combing (Fig. 3:8).