The Dam. Five squares were excavated in the upper part of the dam, its center and the southern part of the footpath (Area A1). It was confirmed that apart from the outer walls, hardly any remains survived of the original footpath and the upper part of the dam’s original core. The finds discovered to a depth of 0.7–1.5 m below the level of the dam’s footpath in all of the squares dated to the Ottoman period. Below the footpath and the Ottoman-period fill was the original core of the dam, consisting of various-sized fieldstones and ashlars, some in secondary use, as well as gray mortar and dark earth. Most of the original mortar that bonded the stones was not preserved, probably because of water that penetrated into the core.
A half square was excavated next to the eastern face of the dam; it joined the other six half squares that were opened there during the first seasons. It was positioned south of the southernmost square (B7). The square was positioned at a point that from it and to its north the eastern face of the dam inclined eastward. The construction of the foundation, including the pouring of the mortar and the use of wooden frames, was similar to those from the previous seasons. Moreover, it was established that the hydraulic plaster on the eastern face of the dam was preserved in its entirety at the point from which the dam slanted eastward; therefore, it is assumed that this inclination already existed in the Byzantine period. To expose as much of the original face of the dam as possible a section was cut to a depth of 1.5 m along the entire eastern face of the dam and part of the Ottoman-period walls that were constructed next to the dam were removed. Pinkish hydraulic plaster from the Byzantine period was revealed in several spots along the dam’s eastern face.
Six half squares were opened along the western face of the dam (Area D). The dam’s foundation was uncovered at a depth of c. 1 m below sea level. It was built of a cast gray lime mortar mixed with small stones; above it were one or two steps of medium and large semi-hewn kurkar fieldstones, bonded together with the same lime mortar. The construction of the foundation resembled that on the eastern face of the dam; however, no remains of wooden frames were noted here. The southern trial square, located west of the dam’s southwestern corner, exposed the dam’s foundation where it was built directly upon the kurkar bedrock, which was leveled in the southern part of the square. In the northern part of the square, bedrock was chiseled in the shape of a step, imitating the stone steps. Bedrock was not encountered in the rest of the squares; in the square south of Nahal ‘Ada the bottom of the foundation was not reached, despite excavating it to a depth of 2.25 m below sea level.
At the northern end, four squares were excavated on both sides of the dam (Area F). At the point where the dam connected with the kurkar ridge only three courses of the original stone of the dam’s eastern face were preserved; these were founded on bedrock and were coated with hydraulic plaster. Courses of small stones that were characteristic of the dam’s constructions in the Ottoman period were built above them. To create a solid connection between the dam and the kurkar ridge to its north, a niche that served as a foundation trench was hewn in the ridge. South of the connection with the ridge only one or two original courses that were built on a cast within wooden frames were preserved; here too, courses of small stones surmounted them. On the western face of the dam, between the northern flour mill (M16) and the kurkar ridge, the foundation of the dam was discovered; above it were several construction phases of retaining walls, each erected in a different manner, which probably dated to the Ottoman period. These retaining walls were probably intended to support the core of the dam that was left bare in this section.
Some 30 m west of the northern end of the dam part of a large building (12.5 x 17.5 m) was unearthed; its bottom part was hewn in bedrock and the upper part was built of stone and preserved two courses high. The building consisted of three rooms and in the northern wall of the middle room was an apse that protruded about 2.5 m to the north (Fig. 1).
The Diversion Sluice. The entire length of the diversion sluice was cleaned completely down to bedrock (Area A1; Fig. 2). Hewn in the bottom of the sluice, c. 4 m east of the regulating installation, was a square vat (3.5 x 3.5 m, depth 0.4 m); it may have functioned as a settling vat before conveying the water to the regulating installation.
The Regulating Installation (Area A3; Figs. 2, 3). On the eastern and western sides of the installation were wooden sluice gates, used in the dam's original phase for controlling the amount of water that passed through the three sluices. At a later phase the sluice gates served as frames for poured mortar that blocked the bottom part of the sluices to raise the level of the water flowing through them. In the southern sluice a stone was left standing to mid height, from where the sluice was originally quarried; the passage below it was difficult. The bottom portion of this sluice was blocked with a built wall rather than a mortar cast, as was the case in the other two sluices. The blockage in the upper part of the middle sluice, which was built in the Ottoman period with the intention to increase the flow in the southern sluice that conveyed water to Flour Mill M13, was dismantled this season.
The Distribution Pool. A distribution pool (5 × 7 m; Area A3; Fig. 2) existed on the western side of the regulating installation. It was enclosed on the south with a massive wall (in excess of 5 m wide) that was built of medium and large ashlar stones, as well as marble columns, in secondary use. During its original phase, bedrock served as the floor of the pool. In a later phase, probably in the 5th or 6th century CE, the bottom of the pool was covered with stone collapse, millstones and light-colored soil (Fig. 4), upon which a stone floor was laid. The water from the pool was conveyed to the ‘Low-Level Aqueduct to Caesarea’, to the flour mills or back to the ravine. Initially, the water flowed from the pool through a rectangular opening
(0.4 × 1.2 m) that was cut in the western end of the wall that enclosed the pool on the south. This opening was sealed in a later phase and superseding it was a larger opening (0.4–0.7 × 2.1 m) hewn slightly to the east of the former one and at a lower level, corresponding to the level of the stone floor in the pool. The water flowed from the opening into Channel C1, which conveyed the water south to the ‘Low-Level Aqueduct to Caesarea’, or west to the flour mills and back to the ravine.
The ‘Lower Aqueduct’. The northernmost remains of the aqueduct were located at a height of 1.5 m above sea level in two squares that were excavated between Nahal Tanninim and Nahal ‘Ada. The excavation area (Area E1) was enlarged south of Nahal ‘Ada, revealing 40 m of the aqueduct’s stone foundation. Some 3 m west of the foundation was an enclosure wall that delineated a road, partially built over the foundation in this section. The eastern part of the road’s drainage ditches was built in the space between the aqueduct’s pillars and they continued westward until the enclosure wall of the road (Fig. 5). The entire aqueduct was laid bare for a distance of 390 m south of the excavation area. The aqueduct was cut into bedrock as a narrow, deep channel (width at the bottom 0.45–0.50 m, depth 0.6–2.5 m); its bottom was hewn at a level of 3.3–3.5 m above sea level. Rock cuttings were observed on top of the aqueduct’s walls where covering stones were placed over the aqueduct. At the area of the ‘southern quarrying’, the ‘Lower Aqueduct’ converged with the ‘Low-Level Aqueduct to Caesarea’. The latter rode piggyback on it for a distance of 145 m. At the spot where the two aqueducts separated, a wall was built inside the ‘Lower Aqueduct’ to block it, so that its water would be diverted to the ‘Low-Level Aqueduct to Caesarea’ (Fig. 6). The subsequent excavation of the ‘Lower Aqueduct’, close to where the divergence was, determined that the quarrying was not completed and therefore, it seems the ‘Lower Aqueduct’ has never functioned.
The ‘Low-Level Aqueduct to Caesarea’. The exposure of the aqueduct (average width 1.8 m) was completed from its outlet in the distribution pool, for a distance of 130 m southwest of the point where the two aqueducts diverged (length 320 m). The level of the aqueduct’s bottom was lower in the northern part (4.25 m above sea level) than the southern part (4.75 m above sea level); the reason for this reverse gradient is still unclear. The upper part of the aqueduct was stone built and roofed with a cylindrical vault that was partially preserved south of the ‘southern quarrying’. South of where the aqueduct exited the ‘southern quarrying’ a channel that conveyed the excess water back to the ravine was hewn in the aqueduct’s northern wall. Recesses existed on both sides of the excess water channel, wherein sluice gates were inserted that controlled the passage of water.
The Quarries. The quarry located to the southwest of the regulating installation was completely cleaned (c. 450 sq m; Area A2). Based on the severance channels, it seems that the average size of the quarried stones (0.20 × 0.30 × 0.65 m) was significantly smaller than the stones utilized in the construction of the dam. The deepest part of the quarry was filled with rock-cutting debris (crushed kurkar), semi-hewn stones that the stonemasons were unsuccessful in dressing and a few pottery fragments from the 3rd–4th centuries CE. The ‘Low-Level Aqueduct to Caesarea’ passed along the quarry’s eastern border. A large two-story building constructed in the Ottoman period was in the eastern part of the quarry. Three of its long north–south walls and the remains of two east–west walls were found. The building continued in use during the British Mandate; when the Kabara marshes were being dried up a kiln for firing ceramic pipes was built in its center, on the northern side of the ‘Lower Aqueduct’.
Southeast of this quarry was another quarry, referred to as the ‘southern quarrying’ (Area E2). The rock cutters exploited the hewn course of the ‘Lower and Low-Level Aqueducts’ that were no longer in use and widened them to the south. The enlarged area was not sequential because the bedrock in several spots was fractured and unsuitable for quarrying. A stone pavement at the eastern end of the ‘southern quarrying’ was detected. Flanking the pavement and the quarry’s walls were hewn recesses, where sluice gates may have been inserted to regulate the water that flowed through the ‘southern quarrying’, after the outlet of the ‘Low-Level Aqueduct to Caesarea’ was blocked and the course of its flow was altered.
The Hewn Flour Mills. The excavating of five out of six mills from the Byzantine period (M1–4, M6), including their feeder channels, was completed (Area A3). Circular abrasions were discerned on the walls of the feeder channels in three of the mills; judging by the marks, the diameter of the vertical waterwheel that operated the mill could be reconstructed (diam. 1.9–2.3 m). The fill that blocked the feeder channels contained finds that indicated they were blocked up in the Ottoman period, probably to facilitate access to Mill M13.
The Built Flour Mills. Seven mills (M10–16; Area D) that operated 13 milling stations were investigated. Two of the mills (M14, M15) had four milling stations each. A long built and plastered chimney (diam. 1.3 m) was uncovered at the bottom of these mills. A small built opening in the chimney gave access to the water that operated a horizontal waterwheel. During the Ottoman period, the water that turned the horizontal waterwheel flowed through a chute that was built in the chimney. No chimneys were discerned in the other mills and the water that operated their waterwheel flowed via a chute. Two construction phases were noted in these mills, both apparently dating to the Ottoman period. The fill in the operating level of each of the mills included finds dating from the Ottoman period until modern times, such as Marseilles roof tiles, as well as pieces of wood and metal that were part of the mills’ operating mechanism.
The Diversion Wall. Along the southern bank of Nahal Tanninim, c. 10 m east of the dam was a wall, oriented north-northeast–south-southwest (preserved length 11 m, average width 1.6 m; Area B2). The wall was irregular and its northern part somewhat slanted eastward. The wall was built of fieldstones, cemented with a light-colored bonding material; two of its upper courses and three foundation courses were preserved. The wall originally continued eastward along the ravine bank. The finds recovered from beneath the wall’s foundations imply that it was built in the 19th century CE, probably to divert the flow of the ravine’s water toward Mill M14.
Burial Caves. Two burial caves (Caves T10, T11; Area F) on the kurkar ridge north of the dam were cleaned and documented to date. Eight or nine loculi were hewn in each of the caves, which were characteristic of the Roman period. Another burial cave (T12) at the northern end of the dam’s foundation was sealed off when the dam was constructed. The cave was partially plundered and contained three soft limestone Samarian-type sarcophagi, common to the 2nd–3rd centuries CE.