Square E21
Level 2, the early level,yielded a wall (W110) and what seems as a contemporaneous water channel (L115), both roughly oriented north–south; the channel sloped southward (Fig. 3). Wall 110 is rather wide (1.6 m) and built of two rows of partially hewn, medium–large stones with a fill of medium-sized stones. The channel (length 3 m) is 0.2 m wide at its northern end, but narrows down to a width of only 0.1 m at its southern end, where it disappears under a layer of collapsed basalt building stones (L105). The channel is well-constructed of square medium-sized building stones placed on a paved floor and lined with standing stone slabs that bear traces of white plaster. A number of basalt millstone fragments were retrieved from inside the channel.
The excavation under Stone Collapse 105 (L114) yielded exclusively Mamluk pottery (Fig. 4): bowl fragments (Fig. 4:1, 2), a pan handle (Fig. 4:3), a fragment of a cooking pot (Fig. 4:4), a fragment of a jar’s neck (Fig. 4:5), a lamp base (Fig. 4:6) and a fragment of a buff-colored mold-made pilgrim flask (Fig. 4:7).
Layers of accumulation abutted W110 on the east (L104, L106). Both were rich with pottery dating from the Mamluk period. The ceramic finds from Accumulation 104 included bowl fragments, some decorated with common brown and yellow line decorations (Fig. 5:1–3), and a fragment of a jar’s neck (Fig. 5:4).
Two copper fulus and a silver dirham were retrieved from Accumulation 104 (IAA 145714–145716); all three date from the fourteenth century CE. Accumulation 106 yielded two ‘black’ cut dirham from the third reign of Nasir Nasir al-Muhammad (1310–1341 CE; IAA 145718, 145719) and two copper fulus—from the reigns of the sultans Al-Salih Isma‘il (1345/1346 CE; IAA 145717) and Barquq (1390–1399 CE; IAA 145720).
Level 1. Two walls (W102, W109) were constructed at a higher elevation than the Level 2 remains. They were built of medium and large unworked field stones; the walls lacked a foundation, which could explain their poor state of preservation. The walls were visible on the surface; the associated topsoil (L100) yielded body sherds from both the Mamluk and the Ottoman periods mixed with modern debris. A number of basalt millstone fragments were found in this stratum as well.
Square D23
Level 2, the early level,yielded three walls (W103, W112, W116; max. height 1.7 m) comprising a building. The walls were set upon a well-constructed stone floor (L118; Fig. 6). Wall 103 was built of two rows of medium-sized stones with an occasional dressed basalt slab and a fill of medium–small stones, whereas W112 and W116 were built of dressed basalt stones. A partition in the W112 was purposely constructed as a vertical funnel (Fig. 7); it may have served for funneling water by gravitation down from a second floor, which did not survive.
Level 1. The Stratum 2 building seems to have been filled with stones and soil (L117) containing numerous lower millstones fragments (Fig. 8) and pottery sherds. The diagnostic sherds included a large bowl rim (Fig. 9:1) and a lamp fragment (Fig. 9:2), both dated to the Mamluk period. Two clay tobacco pipes found in the fill (Fig. 9:3, 4) indicate that the structure was filled in during the Ottoman period. These pipes occur in the Middle East no earlier than the late seventeenth century (Dekkel 2008:138–139). The pipe types from Kh. Umm Juna resemble the pipe-heads from Banias (Dekkel 2008: Figs. 4.7:29, 4.8:39), and can thus be dated to the eighteenth century CE.
The direction of the water channel in Sq E21 points to an important aspect of the Mamluk-period flour-mill system uncovered at Kh. Unm Juna: the water flowed from north to south at a slope that created the necessary energy to activate the mills. Today, the Jordan River flows about 20 meters south of the excavation area, an indication that the course of the river changed over time. This change seems to have occurred after the Mamluk period, as the mills seem to have fallen out of use during the Ottoman era.