During April 2012, a salvage excavation was conducted on King David Street in Ramla (Permit No. A-6473; map ref. 188444–99/648077–122), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Gazit Engineering Company, Ltd., was directed by A. Nagorsky, with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), M. Kunin (surveying and drafting) and I. Lidski-Reznikov (pottery drawing).
The excavation was carried out in the vicinity of the central bus station in Ramla, in an area that until now was part of a flea market, inside the presumed boundaries of the Crusader city. Two squares (A, B; Fig. 1) were excavated and wall remains, which enclosed a residential room and an inner courtyard that were part of a building from the British Mandate era, were exposed.
Square A. A floor built of dressed black and white kurkar stones (0.25×0.25 m), arranged diagonally in a checker board pattern, was exposed above a thin layer of sand that covered a gravel foundation. Three strips of white stones separated the edges of the room from its center. Three walls delimited the floor, on the north (W12), south (W14) and east (W13). Walls 12 and 14, built of dressed stones and coated with yellow plaster, were preserved to a maximum of five courses high. An opening with a threshold consisting of two long stones was installed in W12. The doorway led to another room whose floor consisted of small fieldstones and was covered with a layer of thick plaster that was also applied to the bottom of W12. Remains of green paint were found on the plaster. A socket hole for a door that opened inward was discovered in the plaster floor, next to the western end of the threshold. The western wall (W15; length 4.05 m, width 0.25 m) was built of one row of long dressed stones (each stone 1 m long) and served as a partition. The floor elevation was two centimeters lower than the height of the wall. A probe (1.7×2.7 m, depth 1.7 m) was excavated beneath the floor in the southwestern corner of the square; soft black soil and several potsherds from the Ottoman period were discovered.
Square B. Two layers of a concrete floor, which covered a thick plaster floor that abutted the eastern side of W13, were exposed. The plaster floor’s foundation (thickness 0.25 m) was built of small fieldstones, numerous roof tile fragments and potsherds dating to the Ottoman period. A probe (2×2 m) was excavated in the middle of the square. Here too, as in the probe in Sq A, soft black soil and a few potsherds from the Ottoman period were discovered.
The ceramic assemblage comprised a multitude of bowls, including carinated bowls (Fig. 2:1, 2) and black bowls (Fig. 2:3, 4), as well as jugs (Fig. 2:6, 7) and a lid (Fig. 2:8).