Area M. Work in this area continued in the same squares that were excavated in the last two seasons. The goals of this season were to complete the excavation of the domestic quarter, dating to the eighth century BC and, consequently, to investigate the earlier Iron Age remains from the ninth century BCE whose existence is marked by the limestone pillars found throughout the area in secondary use (Fig. 1). 
All the structures are private dwellings, characterized by relatively thin walls built of small fieldstones (width c. 0.5 m). Several installations, ovens,grinding installations and basalt artifacts were found in the various dwellings. The plan of the area is similar to that of the later phases, which was exposed in the previous season and included several domestic structures and small alleys that separated them. At least one more phase of these domestic dwellings was defined this year.
The earliest phase of the so far known domestic quarter was mainly exposed during the current season. During this phase the area consisted of three or four large domestic structures, each containing at least one tabun. The structures were well-built (width of walls 0.6 m). The main feature of all later phases in the area—the stone-lined pit excavated in the previous season—did not exist in this phase (HA-ESI 119; HA-ESI 120), which is attributed to the early part of Iron II in the eighth century BCE, mainly on account of the structures’ characteristics and the pottery assemblage. This is the beginning of a long occupation process that had already been discerned during Yadin’s excavations and witnessed a gradual, although significant decline in the quality and density of domestic structures on the tell. Houses of the later part of the eighth century BCE were smaller and closer to one another; their construction was poor and they trespassed into public areas. The apex of this process occurred during the last phase of the Israelite city, preceding the Assyrian conquest of 732 BCE. This season’s excavation focused on a single room from the middle occupation phase. It attempted to identify what processes a residential house underwent before, during and after its abandonment. To gain maximum data, the room was divided into 17 squares (1 × 1 m), each subdivided into 4 sub-squares that were excavated 5–10 cm at a time and meticulously documented. All the soil from these sub-squares was wet or dry sieved and samples were sent for flotation. A rich and diverse assemblage of bones, shells and flint artifacts, was identified.
A wide wall (length over 15 m, width c. 1 m), oriented east–west, was exposed in the southern part of the area during the last week of the current season. The wall was parallel to two rows of limestone pillars, exposed in the center of the area, and it probably belonged to the public building that was sealed by the remains of the later domestic buildings mentioned above. The plan of this building, as well as other earlier structures that are attributed to the ninth century BCE, will be the main goals of next year’s excavation in Area M.
The main finds assigned to the Iron Age phases in the area included mainly pottery vessels, some complete and other restorable, as well as several scarabs and seals, three Egyptianized faience beads, zoomorphic and anthropomorphic clay figurines, iron and bronze objects, glass artifacts and a lid of engraved bone. 
Area A2 lies between the northern and southern temples, as well as to the west of the latter, between it and the courtyard of the Canaanite ceremonial palace. The area between the two temples was partially excavated by Yadin’s expedition, who removed the upper Iron Age layers. The area between the two temples was excavated this season down to the Late Bronze I paved street. It became clear that the beautiful ashlar stones placed on top of the northern and western walls of the southern temple did not belong to the original phase of the building, as had previously been presumed, but represented a later phase of the building: the temple itself went out of use sometime in the fifteenth century BCE, but its walls were preserved to a considerable height and served as foundations for the walls of a later building (a temple?) that was erected on top and of which only the foundations and the floor had survived. The ashlar stones were added to the building only in this stage, during Late Bronze II (the fourteenth century BCE) when the entire area was reorganized and the ceremonial palace was established. The raised platform in the center of the palace’s courtyard was built at the same time, partially using the same ashlar stones that appeared in the structure, which was built above the southern temple after it went out of use.
A channel that drained the large courtyard east of the ceremonial palace, as well as the courtyard to its north, was excavated in three stages: its eastern end had been cleared by Yadin’s expedition (Hazor III-IV [Text] 1989:18–21) and it turned out that it led the run-off water into a subterranean reservoir (L357), which was also excavated during the 1950s. The western part of the channel was excavated in the 1990s (IEJ 48, 1998:275). The northern part of the same channel, which encircled the western and northern walls of the southern temple, was excavated during the current season (Fig. 2). The channel was higher than the level of the paved street to the north of the southern temple. Thus, the dating of this channel, as suggested by the Yadin’s expedition in the 1950s, to Stratum XIV (LB II), when the area was reorganized prior to the construction of the ceremonial palace, is confirmed.