Area A (Figs. 2, 3). The remains of two walls (W10, W11) forming the corner of a building were discovered. The walls were constructed of two rows of kurkar ashlars and a fieldstone core; the stones were bonded with brownish-orange, lime-based mortar and sand. The corner of the structure was built like a square pillar, with an outer face of ashlar stones and an inner fill of fieldstones. A layer of sand (L30; thickness 0.8 m) mixed with modern refuse and pottery sherds from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries CE was exposed on either side of W10. Beneath this layer was beach sand containing collapsed building stones and pottery sherds from the Ottoman period, suggesting that that was the date of the building. Portions of the building’s walls were founded on earlier walls, while other portions were set directly on clean sand. In order to prevent the walls from settling, arches were incorporated into their construction, so as to reinforce them. The corner of the building was founded on the remains of an earlier wall (W17; Fig. 4) built of ashlar stones and dating to the Ottoman period. Between the collapsed stones and sand fill north of W17 were the remains of another wall (W18), which was constructed of two rows of ashlars and a fieldstone core. The stones were bonded with white, lime-based mortar, different from the brownish-orange mortar discovered in the walls of the Ottoman building. Sandy soil mixed with grayish-orange clay and containing pottery sherds from the Crusader period was exposed on either side of W18, up to its top. Wall 18, then, belonged to a structure built during the Crusader period. To the north of W18 was a pile of numerous collapsed medium- and large-sized ashlars (L33) that resembled those of W18 and may have originated in the Crusader structure. However, these stones are also similar to the stones in Walls 10 and 11, which date from the Ottoman period. It therefore seems that the builders of the Ottoman-period structure reused the fallen stones of the Crusader-period building.
Area B (Fig. 5). Remains of a water channel (W14) founded on clean beach sand were discovered in the west of the area. The channel was oriented in a northeast–southwest direction and was built of stone-pipe sections (0.4 × 0.7 m) that had a hole drilled in their center (diam. 0.22 m). The connected sections were sealed with white, lime-based mortar. A protective casing of small fieldstones bonded with a brownish-orange, lime-based mortar and sand (height c. 0.8 m; Fig. 6) was constructed around the pipe.
To the east of the stone-built channel (W14), a broad underground foundation of an open water channel built in two phases: W20 was built first and W13 was built along its western face. This segment of the channel was damaged when the road was paved, but its southern continuation was preserved outside the excavation area. Wall 13 was built of roughly hewn kurkar stones. Wall 20 was built of two rows of coarsely dressed, medium-sized kurkar stones and a fill of fieldstones and mortar. In a probe excavated along the channel (L42) it became apparent that the foundation was preserved only three of courses high. The channel’s foundation was constructed on a bedding slightly wider than the foundation. It was made of an aggregate of small fieldstones and gray, lime-based mortar. Soil fill containing pottery sherds from the Ottoman period (eighteenth–twentieth century CE) was discovered when excavating the channel’s foundation.
A section of a closed channel (L43; Fig. 7) was discovered below the level of the open channel’s foundation; this conduit was apparently annulled when the open channel was constructed. The closed channel was built of two pipes composed of terracotta sections (diam. 0.18 m, length 0.3 m) embedded in a foundation (width 2.5 m, thickness 0.4 m) made of an aggregate of fieldstones and light gray mortar. Covering stone slabs were placed on top of the pipes. Another section of one of the terracotta pipes was discovered beneath the floor of a later structure (L44; Fig. 8).
Architectural remains were discovered above the remains of the two channel. A wall (W19; Fig. 9), oriented in an east–west direction and comprising an entranceway, was exposed in the middle of the area. It was built of kurkar ashlars and a core of small fieldstones, all bonded with light gray, lime-based plaster. Wall 19 severed the closed channel and abutted the foundation wall of the open channel; together they formed the corner of a room (L44), where a gray plaster floor was exposed. To the south of the room, a tabun was built into W20. It contained ash devoid of any finds (depth 0.7 m).
A threshold belonging to a building that was not preserved was exposed northwest of W19, along the route of the open channel’s foundation. A sewer pipe installed during the modern era damaged the ancient remains there. A plaster floor (L41) was exposed in the southern part of the area; above it was part of a pipe made of terracotta sections (diam. 0.12 m, length c. 0.4 m). These may be the remains of an industrial installation.
Pottery sherds dating to the Ottoman period (eighteenth–twentieth century CE) were discovered in the excavation of Area B, from a level below the street to the maximum depth of the excavation (c. 1 m).
The excavation yielded pottery sherds and tobacco pipes dating to the Ottoman period. The pottery sherds represent locally produced vessels as well as vessels imported from elsewhere in the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe. The imported vessels reflect the maritime and commercial activity that passed through the port of ‘Akko in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries CE. Some of the pottery sherds were manufactured in Kütahya (western Turkey), where an important ceramic center was situated; its production peaked in the eighteenth century CE. These fragments include two eighteenth-century bowls adorned with floral decorations in turquoise, black and red (Fig. 10:1) or black, red, yellow and green (Fig. 10:2), and a fragment of a coffee mug painted dark blue with a thin brush (Fig. 10:3), probably dating to the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. Also discovered was a body fragment of a bowl belonging to a type known as “à taches noires” (Fig. 10:4), produced in Albisola (Liguria, Italy). The fragment bears lead glaze both outside and inside and is decorated on the inside with a dark stripe. It dates to the second half of the eighteenth century CE. Also noteworthy is a bowl sherd made of white clay treated with a clear glaze and decorated with blue stripes near the rim (Fig. 10:5). This vessel was apparently crafted from a kind of clay meant to imitate Chinese porcelain, known as ‘soft-paste porcelain’; similar vessels were produced in Italy, France, and Britain. It probably dates to the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century.
Area A revealed the remains of an Ottoman-period building that was erected above the remains of a Crusader-period building. The Crusader-period structure was well built, utilizing medium- to large-sized ashlars; therefore, it seems to have been a public building. The excavation area is located in the northern part of the Old City, east of the Hospitaller quarter, where according to Crusader-period maps the king’s palace was situated. The collapsed stones of the earlier edifice were utilized in the Ottoman-period building. A rectangular building aligned in an east–west direction and divided into two rooms is visible in an aerial photograph taken during the British Mandate. The proximity of this building to the wall built by Daher al-Umar, which fortified the city between 1750 and 1775, suggests that it was used by the authorities as a storeroom near the city wall.
Area B reveled the sections of three channels that conveyed water to the Old City. One was built of stone sections; it was part of Suleiman Pasha’s aqueduct completed in 1815, which conveyed water from the Kabri springs to the Old City. This aqueduct was constructed after the Napoleonic siege (1799), when a previous aqueduct, built by al-Jazar and used from 1775 to 1801, was destroyed. The stone sections characterize the Suleiman aqueduct; numerous segments of this conduit were discovered both inside and outside the Old City. The second channel was an open channel, but only the wide stone foundation on which it was built was preserved in the excavation area. It was, however, preserved in its entirety to the south of the excavation, and includes a water channel treated with light gray hydraulic plaster. This channel, constructed in a north–south direction, led from the city’s northern wall to a sabil in the eastern part of the White Market in Old ‘Akko. Like the channel built of stone sections, this cannel was completed in 1815, during the reign of Suleiman Pasha. The third channel, running beneath the foundation of the open channel, is the closed conduit consisting of two terracotta pipes. Only a short segment was discovered, and its use is difficult to surmise. The sabil in the White Market was probably first supplied with water by the channel with terracotta pipes; once the earlier channel was canceled, the open channel was constructed above it.