The British Mandate Era (Fig. 2). A sewer pipe (diam. 0.25 m) crosses the excavation area from east to west. Two cinderblock manholes were built on top of the flagstone pavement from the Ottoman period.
The Ottoman Period (Fig. 2). A flagstone-paved workshop (L502, L503) was exposed and two coins dating to the nineteenth century CE were found on its floor; one of the coins belonged to Abd el-Majid (1839–1861 CE). Three installations were exposed on the floor: (1) a row of dressed stones (height 0.4 m) and a layer of gray plaster that remained of a base of a rectangular installation (L504; 1.4 × 2.3 m). This was probably the base of a tabun, or some other industrial installation. The foundations of the installation were lower than the elevation of the floor and were founded on an earlier installation (L518; see Fig. 3) that had a similar outline. (2) A rectangular installation with rounded corners and coated with plaster on its interior (L505; 1.2 × 1.3 m, depth 0.5 m), which abutted the foundation of the modern northern wall. The installation was built on top of the flagstone floor (L502). (3) A rectangular installation (L506; 0.5 × 1.0 m, depth 0.25 m) carelessly built of dry construction.
Pre-Ottoman Period (Mamluk? Fig. 3). Two channels that sloped from east to west were exposed beneath the workshop floor. The first (L507; 0.15 × 0.15 × 5.30 m) conveyed rainwater to a cistern, located beyond the excavation area, or possibly to the northern part (not excavated) of the ancient cistern that dated to the Byzantine stratum (L521; below). The second channel was used to drain sewage (L508; 0.5 × 0.7 × 8.1 m); it was plastered (max. height 0.2 m) and covered with stone slabs (width 0.8 m). The base of the channel was at the same elevation as the mosaic floor from the Byzantine period (755.48 m); however, it was inclined to the west, toward the main drainage channel that passes beneath the cardo of this period. A similar phenomenon of later channels that drain into an ancient system was also documented in the excavations of the lower cardo (Weksler-Bdolah S., Onn A., Ouahnouna B. and Avissar M., 2007. The Eastern Cardo of Roman Jerusalem and its Later Reincarnations in Light of the Western Wall Plaza Excavations. In Y. Patrich and D. Amit [eds.]. New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and Its Region, Collected Papers. Vol. 1. Jerusalem; HA-ESI 121). Twenty medieval coins were found in this layer, including a coin made of a silver alloy (billon) that was minted by Alphonse VI in Toledo, Castile (Spain) in the years 1085–1105 CE (IAA 138946). A rectangular installation (L518; 0.65 × 1.40 × 2.30 m) was built north of Channel 507. At the bottom of the installation were remains of plaster and a low collecting vat (0.1 × 0.4 m) that served as a base for the later installation from the Ottoman period (504). Traces of plaster remained on its eastern and northern sides and it therefore seems that the installation was used to store water. The tops of walls (W516, W517) that dated to the Mamluk period, based on eight coins, were exposed in the northern rooms of the modern building.
The Byzantine Period (Fig. 4). The most important remain from this period is a section of a white mosaic floor (L509; 0.87 × 2.75 m) that was damaged in the north and west by the walls of the modern building. The three eastern rows of tesserae formed a frame next to a wide wall (W515, 1.2 × 2.2 m); it seems that the mosaic and the wall were remains of a building, which was damaged by the construction of the drainage channel from the later stratum (Fig. 5). A clay lamp from the Abbasid period (ninth–tenth centuries CE) was found on the floor, possibly indicating its final use (Fig. 6). Below the floor were fragments of pottery vessels from the Byzantine period (fifth–sixth centuries CE), including bowls (Fig. 7:1, 2), one of which belonged to the Fine Byzantine Ware, a cooking pot (Fig. 7:3), jars (Fig. 7:4, 5) and a fragment of a candlestick lamp (Fig. 7:6). Five coins, the latest of which dated to the reign of Justinian I (534–539 CE; IAA 138966), indicating when the floor was installed, were found. The foundation of the floor was a layer of uniform stones that were cast together in cement, set on top of a white plaster layer.
A square stone pillar (0.40 × 0.80 × 0.95 m) that served as a column base was placed on top of the floor (not in the plan) in a later phase. A rectangular cistern (L521; 3.2 × 3.2 × 4.4 m) was discovered in the west of the excavation area; the very top of its vault was at the same elevation as the floor. Most of its interior was filled with soil and refuse; however, it was possible to identify the original opening through which water was drawn (0.5 × 0.7 m) in the northwestern corner and the opening that conveyed rainwater into it (0.2 × 0.4 m). Modern walls were built on top of the two openings in the southeastern corner of the cistern.
The Early Roman Period. A homogenous accumulation of soil mixed with potsherds from the Early Roman period (the time of the Second Temple) was located below Installation 518, in the deepest section in the east of the area. South of it were remains of a plastered elliptical installation (L520; 0.40 × 0.65) that was damaged when W515, which dated to the Byzantine period, was constructed.
The Early-Roman period remains, the earliest in the excavation, were part of the Jewish Quarter from the Second Temple period, significant parts of which were excavated in the adjacent areas in Avigad’s excavations. The mosaic floor and the wall from the Byzantine period, to the east of the cardo, were placed above this destruction layer. The elevation of the floor in the excavation (755.48 m) is 30 cm lower than the pavement of the main street and it conforms to the gentle grade in the course of the road in this spot. Based on the dating, elevation and location of the floor, relative to the main street, we suggest it was used as one of shops in the eastern stoa of the street from the Byzantine period, which was built during the reign of Justinian (Fig. 8). The workshop, whose use is unclear, was built in the Ottoman period; after it was no longer used a sewer line that crossed the area from east to west was placed on its floor during the British Mandate era. During the Mamluk period, two adjacent channels that flow from east to west, one for draining sewage and the other for conveying water to a nearby cistern, may have been built below its floor.