In March 2013, a salvage excavation was conducted in a lot at the corner of Har’el and Hannah Senesh Streets in Ramla (Permit No. A-6734; map ref. 18804–7/64851–3), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by Mr. Jamal, the owner of the plot, was directed by R. Toeug, with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), M. Kunin (surveying), A. Peretz (photography), N. Zak (drafting) and M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing).
The foundation course of a wall (W1) built of an outer face of smoothed stones and an inner face of fieldstones was exposed in the excavation square. The wall was founded on a fill of soil (L101) that was excavated down to the level of the natural sand. A cistern (L102; Fig. 4) was exposed near the northern face of the wall. It had a rectangular opening (0.1 × 0.2 m) built like a sluice for conveying water into the cistern, probably by means of a gutter (Fig. 2: Section 1–1). Part of the barrel vault that covered the cistern was also revealed. Judging by the diagonal construction of the opening and its relatively small dimensions, it seems that it did not serve for drawing water, and that water was drawn from the cistern through another opening, located outside the excavated area. Scant remains of another wall (W2) were exposed at the northern end of the square. Pottery sherds dating to the Abbasid and Fatimid periods were found in the excavation. These included a sgrafitto-type bowl (Fig. 5:1), a plain bowl (Fig. 5:2), a glazed frying pan (Fig. 5:3), a cooking pot (Fig. 5:4), two zir jars (Fig. 5:5, 6) and a strainer jug (Fig. 5:7). The structure and cistern are dated to the Fatimid period; however, the cistern might have been built in the Abbasid period and continued to be used in the Fatimid period.
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