An open space, paved with basalt flagstones (L5; Fig. 3) and founded on beach sand, was revealed beneath the concrete pavement in the northern part of the courtyard (L8). The flagstones (0.20×0.25×0.35 m) in the western part of the space were arranged in rows aligned north–south, parallel to the shoreline and in the rest of the square they were oriented east–west (Fig. 4). A pit in the center of the open space contained a perforated asbestos pipe (L10) that was used to drain the floor;the adjacent flagstones were dismantled when the pipe was installed. Along most of the façade of the southern wall of the hostel’s northwestern wing, which had been renovated in the mid-twentieth century, were no paving stones and three basalt column drums, whose use is unclear, were placed in the exposed soil. The three drums were positioned in continuation of a row of four basalt column drums next to the wall, which were placed on top of the flagstones that abutted the eastern end of the wall (Fig. 5); the drums were attached to each other by means of white mortar. Four other column drums, with no mortar between them, were placed on the pavement c. 4 m to the south and parallel to them (Fig. 6). Modern objects were found on the pavement of the open space.
The open space was bounded on the east by a wide curved wall, built of basalt stones (W3; width c. 1 m, height 1.2 m; Fig. 7). The wall, which was preserved four courses high above the pavement in the open space (see Fig. 6), was set on a foundation of poured aggregates. The wall was abutted from the east by the pavement of the promenade, which was c. 0.1 m lower than the top of the wall.Wall 3 adjoined the bottom courses of the southern wall in the northeastern wing (see Fig. 5), which remained from the original wall that stood there before the renovation. Although this confirms that Wall 3 was built after the construction of the hostel’s northeastern wing, it is difficult to know whether it represents a technical phase or a separate chronological phase. The wall continued south beyond the excavation area, but its line could be traced according to several sections that still protrude above the surface; it bends to the southwest and probably terminates at the tower in the southeastern corner of the hostel. The winding route of the wall and its massive construction show that it was erected on the water line. It seems that this is the broad winding wall that delimited the hostel compound on the east, which is seen in a photograph taken in 1924 (Fig. 8).
This photograph and earlier photographs of Tiberias’ shoreline from the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century CE make it possible to date the construction of the wall and the installation of the paved open space, and follow the changes that took place in the region since the late nineteenth century CE. A partly destroyed vaulted building that stood on the shoreline prior to the construction of Wall 3 and the hostel building is visible in a photograph from 1870 (Fig. 9). A wall extending into the sea, which was erected at the northern end of the vaulted structure, can be seen in a photograph dating to 1910 (Fig. 10). The original use of the wall is unclear (a pier? a jetty?), but several years later the northern wall of the hostel’s northeastern wing was founded on top of this wall; its eastern end still sticks out at the base of the northern wall of the hostel. The northeastern wing and the southern tower, between which stretches a garden delimited in the east by Wall 3, are visible in a view as seen from the sea in the photograph taken in 1924 (see Fig. 8). It can therefore be assumed that the northeastern wing, the garden, which was subsequently paved over as an open space and was exposed in the excavation, and the tower, were built on ground that had been reclaimed from the sea between the years 1910–1924.
Although the excavation finds are modern, they contribute to understanding the development of construction along Tiberias’ shoreline. Until the beginning of the twentieth century the shoreline of the Old City was used as a beach for fishermen. However, in the first decades of the century work was done to reclaim sections of the coastal strip. It seems that during the course of this land reclamation, thick walls that extended into the water were used, such as the wall on which the northern wall of the hostel building was founded and perhaps also Wall 3, and the areas they enclosed were dried, probably by means of a base that was poured into the lake. The eastern part of the hostel was built on a strip like this, while its western part was built on land and the vaulted structure was incorporated in its plan. Therefore, one can conclude that the promenade, which was constructed a few years after the great flood that struck the city in 1934, was also founded on an area that was reclaimed from the lake and that until the time of its construction, Wall 3 separated the courtyard from the water.