In October 2018, a salvage excavation was conducted at Ramat Yishay (Permit No. A-8371; map ref. 216134–167/734566–609), prior to construction. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by M. Kotar, was directed by A. Mokary (field and studio photography), with the assistance of Y. Lavan (administration), M. Peleg (photogrammetry), H. Tahan-Rosen (plan and pottery drawing) and laborers from Kafr Manda.
The excavation was conducted approximately 200 m southwest of an Ottoman caravanserai (for background and references, see Tepper 2016; Fig. 1)
. On removing a layer of modern waste (thickness 0.5 m), two layers of friable accumulated soil were found, covering Mamluk and Ottoman architectural remains founded on a soil accumulation that contained a few non-diagnostic potsherds. The excavation did not reach virgin soil. An excavation in a neighboring plot (Hanna 2014
) unearthed architectural remains from the Abbasid, Crusader, Mamluk and Ottoman periods.
Mamluk Period. Remains of walls (W12, W16, W17, W20; Figs. 2, 3) were preserved three courses high, built of hewn blocks. Walls 12 and 16 were abutted by a tamped-earth floor covered with ash (L19). Wall 17 was abutted on the east by stone paving that was not excavated. Walls 12 and 20 were parallel and separated by a floor (L23) that may be an alleyway, made of flat limestone slabs. Fragments of a glazed bowl (Fig. 4:4) and a painted handmade bowl (Fig. 4:5) dating from the Mamluk period were found above Floor 23. The soil accumulated on the walls yielded pottery that included handmade bowls, glazed bowls, jars and cooking pots dated to the Mamluk period (not drawn).
Ottoman Period. Three circular installations are probably the remains of granaries whose walls (W13–W15) were preserved to the height of a single course, built of partially squared blocks. The installations were founded on an alluvial layer (thickness 0.2 m) that was devoid of pottery finds, indicating that after the Mamluk building was destroyed, the site was abandoned until the installations were built. The walls were abutted by a surface of tamped earth (L18) containing body fragments of painted Rashaya el-Fukhar pottery (not drawn) as well as a fragment of a Mamluk glazed bowl (Fig. 4:3) and unidentified metal fragments. Pottery from the soil accumulation above the installations (L10) included glazed bowls (Fig. 4:1, 2) and a jar (Fig. 4:6) from the Mamluk period, as well as Ottoman bowls, cooking pots and jars (not drawn).