During November 2011, an excavation was conducted at Gimzo (Permit No. A-6344; map ref. 194747–63/648571–89; ESI 20:90*–91*), after ancient remains were damaged while digging a trench for a water pipe. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Meqorot Company, was directed by P. Spivak, with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), M. Kunin (surveying and drafting), H. Ben-Ari (GPS), A. Peretz (field photography) and M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing).
The excavation area (50 sq m) was located within the precincts of the Gimzo (West) antiquities site (Fig. 1). A square building was exposed; two use phases (I, II) that dated to the Ottoman period and the British Mandate era were discerned (Figs. 2, 3).
Phase I. Remains of a building (6×6 m), whose ashlar-built walls (W4–W7) were set on deep foundations (depth 1.0–1.5 m) built of fieldstones, were exposed. The eastern part of W4 was destroyed by mechanical equipment during the installation of the water line. The entrance to the building was set in the western wall and the preserved threshold stone was incorporated in W5. A floor composed of a thin layer of tamped earth (L10) was exposed inside the southwestern part of the building, next to the entrance. Fragments of pottery vessels dating to the Ottoman period and the British Mandate era were discovered on the floor, including fragments of black Gaza type jars (Fig. 4:1, 2), jars of brown clay (Fig. 4:3, 4), some of which are decorated with combed geometric patterns (Fig. 4:5) and handmade cooking pots of brown clay that contain white inclusions and mica (Fig. 4:6). Metal objects, including a wide variety of hooks, tools and digging implements (Fig. 5) were found on the floor, as well as glass bottles. A floor of white plaster, applied to a bedding of stones (L9), was exposed in the rest of the building. The plaster floor was 0.3 m higher than the tamped earth floor. Dwellings with two floor levels were common to the country in the Ottoman period. The upper floor level was used for the people living in the building ands the lower level housed the animals and farm equipment.
Phase II. Large fragments of concrete slabs (L2) were exposed throughout the building area and it seems that at some stage, a concrete roof was added to the structure. The concrete slabs lacked an internal iron structure. Covering buildings with concrete slabs, similar to those discovered, first occurred in the country at the time of the British Mandate. It seems that the building was covered with the concrete roof in the second phase of its use.
The exposed building was probably part of the Arab village of Jimzo. Based on a survey of villages in the Land of Israel in 1945, the village of Jimzo had 9,681 dunams of land and a population of 1,510 (N. Kadman. 2008. On the Side of the Road and in the Margins of Consciousness: The Depopulated Palestinian Villages of 1948 in the Israeli Discourse. [November Books]. Jerusalem, p. 146 [Hebrew]).