In November 2014, a salvage excavation was conducted at 62 Herzl Street in Ramla (Permit No. A-7246; map ref. 187627–44/648975–88; Fig. 1), prior to the construction of a building. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Amsis Brothers Company, Ltd., was directed by D. Masarwa (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Amrani (administration), M. Kahan (surveying and drafting), C. Ben-Ari (GPS), A. Gorzalczany (scientific guidance), H. Torgë (ceramics) and M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing).
In the current excavation, two adjacent squares (5 × 10 m; Fig. 2) were opened along an east–west axis, yielding remains of a potter’s kiln and plaster floors dating to the Late Abbasid and Fatimid periods. The remains were poorly preserved due to their proximity to the surface and because later construction had damaged them. The kiln remains included three pillars (W104, W108, W109; Fig. 3) constructed of medium-sized ashlars and fieldstones, which probably carried arches on which the floor of the firing chamber rested. The arches were supported by a column (L114; Fig. 4) installed in the center of the firebox (L105); fired bricks were all that survived of it. Plaster floors abutted the western (L102) and eastern (L103, L112) sides of the kiln; the two floors east of the kiln were built on top of each other (Phases A, B), and both adjoined Pillar 104 (Fig 5). The stokehole, through which fuel was inserted, seems to have been on the eastern side of the kiln; the two floors are evidence of repairs made to the plaster due to the ongoing activity on this side of the installation. The ceramic finds discovered above the kiln remains and below the floors abutting the installation (L107, L110) included glazed bowls (Fig. 6:1, 2), a small FBW bowl (Fig. 6:3), jars (Fig. 6:4, 5), a jug (Fig. 6:6) and juglets (Fig. 6:7, 8) that date from the beginning of the Fatimid period (late eighth century – tenth century CE). Numerous ceramic kiln bars used to support the pottery vessels in the firing chamber (Fig. 7) were also found.
Despite the poorly preserved remains, the ceramic artifacts aid in dating the kiln and its adjoining plaster floors to the late eighth century – tenth century CE. The finds from the excavation resemble those of excavations previously conducted nearby, and they probably indicate that the area was first inhabited in the Abbasid period.