In February 2015, a salvage excavation was conducted on the grounds of the French Hospital in Yafo, prior to the construction of the Eden Hotel (Permit No. A-7344; map ref. 176804-24/662287-301; Fig. 1). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by LLC, was directed by Y. Elisha (photography), with the assistance of E. Bachar and Y. Amrani (administration), M. Kunin and A. Hajian (surveying), N. Zak (plans), P. Gandelman (pottery reading) and M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing).
Following the demolition of the ‘nuns’ residence,’ at the Eden Hotel, the negative of an arch was discerned above the excavation area (Re'em 2010
). Three squares were opened during the latest excavation, exposing one of the pillars of the Ottoman city wall that enclosed Yafo, renovated in the mid-eighteenth century CE. The pillar (2.4 × 2.5 m, height 1.65 m; Figs. 2–4) was built of ashlars and reddish brown mortar, similar in composition to that of the bastion wall that was excavated in the past. A fragment of a cannonball was discovered, which was probably fired at the city wall by Napoleon’s army. Mixed fragments of pottery vessels and numerous ashlars were found in the fill. In previous excavations, fragments of pottery vessels that were similar to those found in the layer of fill in the Crusader moat (Re'em 2010) were discovered. The ashlars revealed in the fill were of similar size and shape as the stones used to construct the Crusader glacis, which was most likely damaged during the construction of the Ottoman city wall in this area.
A toppled section of the city wall, inclined on its side (length 2 m, nine courses high; Fig. 5), was exposed to the north of the pillar.
The ceramic finds from the excavation were mixed and date to the Iron Age, and the Persian, Hellenistic (fourth–third centuries BCE), and the Byzantine and Crusader periods. These include a krater (Fig. 6:1) dating to the Iron Age (ninth–eighth centuries BCE); a black-slipped Attic bowl (Fig. 6:2) and a jar (Fig. 6:3) ascribed to the Persian–Hellenistic periods (fourth–third centuries BCE); an LRC bowl (Fig. 6:4) and a jar (Fig. 6:5) from the Byzantine period; and bowls (Fig. 6:6–9) and a cooking pot (Fig. 6:10) from the Crusader period (twelfth–thirteenth centuries CE). A basalt grinding stone (Fig. 6:11) was also found, probably a fragment of a millstone that was converted into a grinding stone.