An accumulation layer was excavated in a room delineated by three walls (W1, W2 and W3; Figs. 1, 2), producing mixed pottery sherds, the latest dating to the Crusader period. This accumulation layer extended down to the walls’ foundations that were constructed on the bedrock. Most of the finds on the bedrock dated to the Crusader period, attesting to the construction of these walls in this period. To the east of W3, the remains of a massive gateway into the building were exposed. The gateway was accessed from a street, perhaps the main street of the village, paved with huge paving stones that ran up to the walls (see Fig. 1). The foundations of the walls were built on the bedrock that slopes downwards from east to west. Most of the finds, including those on the bedrock, date to the Crusader period, thus dating the entire building to this period. Based on the quality of the construction, it is reasonable to assume that this was a public building.
At a later stage, additional walls were built, including some on the paved street, and entrances were blocked, including part of the gateway itself. These changes, which took place within the Crusader period, changed the function of the structure. To the north of the gate, two walls (W5, W6) built on the pavements, reflect a change in the function of the structure. South of the gateway, building remains and a floor made of small stones, blocked part of thestreet and gateway, likewise indicating a change in its function. Here too, the finds point to a Crusader date.
The examination of some points around the excavation area led to the understanding that the excavated building was built on the bedrock, or on a levelled surface on the bedrock (Figs. 2–4). The principal stone employed by the builders was dolomite and hard limestone, that are not easily eroded. Many stones exhibited diagonal tooling, and on some there were some mason’s marks.
According to the survey, some of the buildings still standing at the site date to the Crusader period. The Crusader village was planned as a ‘street village’, and its inhabitants were Franks (Khamisy 2017). The present, albeit small, excavation exposed parts of buildings that were not previously visible, including the remains of a massive building that reflects a Frankish presence at the site. The building was apparently ruined by the 1202 earthquake (Khamisy 2018), part of the gateway was blocked, and some walls of another building were built. The later building phase was of a poorer quality than the original phase, possibly reflecting a reduced standard of living of the inhabitants. The final destruction phase should be attributed to July 1271, when Montfort Castle and the village were captured by Baybars.