In February and March 2019, a third season of educational excavations was undertaken in the Lod Mosaic Compound in the neighborhood of Newe Yaraq, Lod (Permit No. A-8416; map ref. 19019/65145–395; Fig. 1), prior to the construction of a visitors’ center. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by the Morning Star Foundation, was directed by E.G. Zwiebel and E. York, with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), I. Jonish and A. Peretz (field photography), D. Ben Ami, A. ‘Azab and Y. Kornfeld (IAA Central Region). Assistance was provided by the Lod Municipality, the Merchavim Institute and “A New Way” Association.
The outstanding Lod Mosaic, dated to the Late Roman period, was discovered incidentally in the course of supervision over infrastructures in the Newe Yaraq neighborhood (for background and references see Gorzalczany 2018). The present excavation was carried out a few meters south of the mosaic.
Four 3 × 3 m squares were opened (depth c. 0.5 m; Fig. 2), exposing two fieldstone walls forming a corner (W104, W105; Figs. 3, 4). The walls, which extended beyond the excavation limits, were overlain by an accumulation layer of brown clayey soil containing modern refuse and pottery sherds from different periods. The pottery finds included a jug (Fig. 5:1), a cooking pot (Fig. 5:2) and a storage jar (Fig. 5:3) from the Roman period; bowls (Figs. 5:4–6), an imported bowl (Fig. 5:7), a cooking pot (Fig. 5:8), and bag-shaped storage jars (Fig. 5:9–12) from the Byzantine period; a bowl (Fig. 5:13) and a storage jar (Fig. 5:14) from the Early Islamic period; and sherds from the Ottoman period (not drawn). Various-sized tesserae were also found, along with animal bones and fragments of glass vessels.