The walls of the rooms were built of large fieldstones with very small fieldstones incorporated in-between, on foundations built of small and medium-sized fieldstones. It seems that the rooms were abruptly severed in the south, probably due to modern development work; their continuation to the north was not exposed because of the limited scope of the excavation.
Room 1 is defined by a corner formed by two walls (W117, W152). Wall 117 (min. length 2.6, width 0.5 m, height c. 0.6 m), oriented northeast-southwest, was built of small fieldstones and pebbles and preserved three–five courses high. The wall continued to the northeast, beyond the excavation area, whereas its southwestern extension was not visible in the balk. Wall 152 (min. length 3.5 m, width c. 0.5 m, height 0.2 m) was built in a manner similar to W117; it was preserved at least a single course high and continued northwest beyond the limits of the excavation area. Wall 152 abutted and was built on top of W117, hence it postdated it; nevertheless, it seems that the two walls were used together. The floors of the rooms (below) did not abut Walls 117 and 152, although their outline corresponded to the walls; therefore, it seems that only the foundations of the walls had survived, while the stones from their superstructures were robbed.
A tabun (L145; diam. c. 0.7 m) was built in the corner of Walls 117 and 152. Next to the installation’s western side were three grinding stones of beach rock, set one atop the other (Fig. 3:1) and partly overlapping, possibly for support.A thick layer of potsherds (L156; length c. 3 m, width 0.5 m) that extended to the northwest, beyond the limits of the excavation area, was located west of the grinding stones, parallel to and c. 0.1 m from W152. It seems that the potsherd layer (L156) and Tabun 145 related to Walls 117 and 152 and therefore all of them were contemporary.
Room 2 was defined by Wall 117 in the west and the corner formed by Walls 105 and 114 in the north and east.Wall 114 (length 2.9 m, width c. 0.5 m, height c. 0.45 m), aligned northeast-southwest and preserved two foundation courses high, had a single course of the wall’s superstructure.Wall 105 (length 2.3 m, width 0.5 m, height 0.55 m) was preserved five courses high, including three foundation courses that abutted W114, one foundation course above them whose continuation was built above W114 and a single course of the wall’s superstructure; hence, the construction of W105 postdated W114, although they may have been used together. A thick, hard orange-colored floor (L115A) covered most of the room’s area. It consisted of tamped orange mortar, containing chalk, crushed potsherds and charcoal and related to Walls 105 and 114.A gap (width 1–2 cm) in the corners between the walls and Floor 115A was visible; it indicated that the walls were probably coated with plaster, which did not survive and may have abutted by the floor. Floor 115A was cut by the southwestern probe trench and the robber trench of W117. A tabun (L110; diam. c. 1 m) built in the north side of the room was lined with small fieldstones on the north and east; its western side was also severed by the robber trench of W117.
The finds included bowls (Fig. 4:1–9), kraters (Fig. 4:10, 11), a cooking krater (Fig. 4:12), jars (Fig. 4:13–15), an amphora (Fig. 4:16) and a discus lamp (Fig. 4:17) that dated to the Late Roman period (second–third centuries CE).
The rooms retained their general shape.A floor added in Room 1 negated Tabun 145, while Tabun 110 remained in use despite the changes made to the structure of Room 2.
Room 1. Most of the room’s area was covered with a floor of small flat stones, fitted together (L104; 1.7×2.8 m). The floor was cut in the east by the robber trench of W117 and extended west beyond the bounds of the excavation area. The outline of Floor 104 in the north was more or less parallel to W152, while in the south it was severed, probably by a modern disturbance.
Room 2. A wall (W106; length 0.8 m, width 0.35 m), built parallel to and c. 0.1 m distance from W114, was cut by the southwestern probe trench; It survived by three large stones and small fieldstones between them.Floor 115A was covered with a thin layer of fill (c. 1–2 cm), overlain with a similar hard, orange-colored floor (L115B) that abutted W106 on the west and north. In the space between Walls 105 and 106 (L121; width c. 0.5 m), the floor adjoined W114 and even scaled its exposed upper course. Floor 115B formed an irregular depression (L133; c. 0.5× 0.8 m; depth c. 0.2 m) in the middle and northwest of W106, which was sealed on the north by a basalt grinding stone (Fig. 3:2) that was incorporated in the floor, in secondary use. It seems that Depression 133 was the remains of an installation that adjoined W106, which was probably used as a bench connected to the installation.Floor 115B was cut in the southwest by two right-angled corners, perhaps intended for standing columns; this area appears to have been an entrance to the room from the south.Tabun 110, which was embedded in the floor and continued to be used in this phase, was abutted from the east and south by Floor 115B.
The finds included potsherds, among them bowls (Fig. 5:1–3), deep bowls (Fig. 5:4, 5), kraters (Fig. 5:6–8), a cooking pot (Fig. 5:9), cooking kraters (Fig. 5:10) and jars (Fig. 5:11, 12) that dated to the sixth–seventh centuries CE.
A coin of Maximian Herculius, struck in the mint of Alexandria (305–306 CE; IAA 108437), was found in the fill below Floor 104 in Room 1; a stone base of a column, as well as a fragment of a shale (Fig. 3:4) and a stone spindle (Fig. 3:5) were found in the fill above Floor 104.The artifacts recovered from Room 2 comprised fragments of glass vessels and numerous pieces of glass slag, a few metallic objects, probably iron, which included mostly nails, as well as pieces of a tabun, mud bricks and numerous roof tiles, a bronze kohl stick, a broken glass bead, game pieces or bone inlay (Fig. 3:3) and a few broken shells.
A sounding (L142; 1×1 m; depth c. 2 m) was excavated in a layer of fill and sandy soil, just east of W114.Fill and collapse were excavated east of the sounding and a coin that dated to the fifth–sixth centuries CE (IAA 108436) was found.The coin and fragments of pottery vessels are consistent with the dating of Phase II.
The excavation has shown that the excavated area was located in an industrial zone.The tabuns, glass slag and pieces of mud brick indicate that some firing process of mud bricks and glass had taken place.The rooms were probably used for different purposes; however, due to the limited scope of the excavation, it is difficult to say with certainty what that difference was.
The evidence regarding industrial activity and the prolonged use of the same architectural units contribute to the regional research.