Area B (Fig. 3)
A wall (W20; length 2.5 m, width 0:50–0:53 m; Fig. 4), constructed of large stones, including two threshold stones in secondary use, was preserved to a height of one course (0.25 m). The wall was set on a foundation of small fieldstones (height 0.45 m). This foundation was partly set on a level of stonemasonry debris, sloping southeast (L206), which contained fragments of pottery, glass and bones. In the northern part of the square the foundation cut through L206. This level may have been created by waste dumping. The ceramic and glass finds in L206 date to the second–fourth centuries CE. The ceramics include two bowls (Fig. 5:1, 2), a basin (Fig. 5:3) and a casserole (Fig. 5:4). Some of the vessels that were discovered in this area and in Areas C and D were produced by the pottery workshop of the Tenth Roman legion, which was previously uncovered at Binyanei Ha-Uma (Magness 2005). The osteological finds consisted of several dozen animal bones, among them pigs (more than 50% of the assemblage), sheep/goat (c. 35% of the assemblage) and several cattle and chicken bones. The bones all had cut-marks, indicating food consumption.
Areas C and D (Figs. 6–8)
Architectural remains and a drainage system were discovered. Four phases were identified (1–4), dating to the Late Roman and Byzantine periods.
Phase 1. A tamped earth floor (L418), which was cut by the main channel of Phase 2 (below), and therefore predates it, was exposed in this earliest phase. Below the floor were pottery sherds from the second–third centuries CE, among them bowls (Fig. 9:1), casseroles (Fig. 9:15), cooking pots (Fig. 9:18) and jars (Fig. 9:25, 26). Sherds dating to the second–third centuries CE were exposed also in the soil fill above the floor. They include red-slipped bowls (Fig. 9:2, 3); large bowls with a fabric identical to that of bricks and roof tiles, with ledge rim and incised decoration (Fig. 9:4, 5), or with an arched rim (Fig. 9:6); basins (Fig. 9:9, 10); cooking jar (Fig. 9:12–14); casseroles (Fig. 9: 16, 17); cooking pots (Fig. 9:19); an amphora base (Fig. 9:22); amphora handles (Fig. 9:23, 24); jugs (Fig. 9:30–32); and fragments of decorated discus lamps, one of which is adorned with a dolphin pattern (Fig. 9:37, 38). In addition, above Floor 418 were numerous fragments of roof tiles, one of them with a rectangular impression, unclear but probably the letter P (Fig. 9:39, 40) and two fluted melon-beads made of white limestone (Fig. 9:41).
Phase 2. A system of drainage channels was exposed, with two secondary channels (L318, L417) flowing to a main channel (L303, L404; Fig. 10). The main channel (length 25 m, inner width 0.52 m) was built of medium-sized ashlars bonded with mud mortar. Fieldstones (L303) were incorporated in the upper part of the channel. The channel was covered with stone slabs that were discovered in situ, including building stones, a threshold, and a column fragment in secondary use. Earth mixed with fragments of pottery and glass dating to the Byzantine and early Umayyad periods, as well as animal bones, filled the main channel. The ceramic finds included a LRC bowl (Fig. 11:1), a lid (Fig. 11:4) and a lamp fragment (Fig. 11:5) from the end of the Byzantine period; and a complete jug from the Umayyad period (Fig. 11:3). The artifacts date the time in which the channel went out of use (in Phase 4 below).
The secondary channel L318 (max. inner width 0.3 m, height 0.74 m) joined the western part of the main channel from the north. Its opening, in the northern wall of the main channel, was enclosed by two ashlars. A thin layer of plaster (max. thickness 0.5 cm) covered the walls and the floor of the channel. The secondary channel L417 (exposed length 1.3 m, inner width 0.3 m, height 0.61 m; Fig. 12) joined the eastern part of the main channel from the south. It was built of medium-sized fieldstones, bonded with mud mortar. The channel was coated on the inside with light gray hydraulic plaster and covered with stone slabs, one of which was exposed in situ.
A floor of rectangular stone slabs (L317, L402; average dimensions 0.15 × 0.40 × 0.55 m), founded on a fill of soil and small fieldstones, abutted the main channel from the south. A well-preserved section of the floor in L402, extended from the wall of the main channel to the southern boundary of the excavation area (Fig. 13). Several stone pavers from this floor, apparently disturbed by infrastructure work, were discovered in L317 (Fig. 14). Pottery from the first–second centuries CE was found in the foundation of floor L402 (L414, L415), including bowls (Fig. 8:7), cooking pots (Fig. 8:20, 21), jars (Fig. 9:27, 28), lids (Fig. 8:33, 34) and roof tiles. Fragments of glass, dating to the end of the first–second centuries CE, were also found in this foundation. Among them was an ungainly jug with infolded rim, a broad strap handle and a square body (Fig. 15). Fragments of pottery from the second–fourth centuries CE were found in the foundation of floor L317 (L319), among them a basin (Fig. 9:11), a jar (Fig. 9:29) and a lid of a bowl (Fig. 9:35).
Phase 3. The main channel and secondary channel L417 remained in used during this phase. Channel L318, on the other hand, was intentionally blocked by three medium-sized ashlars. A floor of small flat stones, covered with plaster (L304; Fig. 16), was laid over the ashlars. Floor L304 abutted the fieldstones incorporated in the upper western part of the main channel (L303). It was on a higher level than the stone floor of Phase 2, which therefore seems to have gone out of use in Phase 3. South of the main channel another floor (L315), had the same elevation and composition as L304, and it apparently abutted the top of the main channel from the south.
Phase 4. Two adjacent, parallel walls (W32, W33; Fig. 17), were exposed. Wall 32 (exposed length 3.9 m, preserved height 0.95 m) has two faces and a core (L309). The southern face was built of medium-sized hewn stones (0.22 × 0.30 × 0.44 m) and the northern face was apparently outside the excavation boundary. The core consisted of fieldstones, roughly hewn stones and soil, and was damaged, probably by infrastructure work.
Wall 33 (exposed length 3.93 m, width 0.94–1.10 m, max. preserved height 0.75 m) consisted of a southern face built of fieldstones and roughly hewn medium-sized stones (0.20 × 0.34 × 0.50 m), and a core of soil with small and medium fieldstones (L313), which was attached to W32. It may have been intended as a reinforcement to W32. Fragments of pottery from the Late Roman to the Umayyad periods were discovered in the core of W33, among them a bowl (Fig. 9:8) and a lid (Fig. 9:36) dating to the Late Roman period, and a jar dating to the sixth–seventh centuries CE (Fig. 11:2). In the core was also a bronze coin (IAA 146497) that was minted in Jerusalem, by the Roman procurators of Judea, during the reign of Emperor Nero, in 58–59 CE. The date of this core is similar to that of the fill that blocked the main channel and dates the end of its use. It seems therefore, that the two walls postdate the channels system and the floors.
Animal bones were discovered in the loci dating to the Late Roman period. They were all mammal bones, of pigs (about half the assemblage), sheep/goat, cattle and camels. The remains included body part rich in meat that were probably eaten, and parts with little meat that are butchering waste. Large concentration of pig bones is a common phenomenon in Roman legion sites, both in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel.
Construction Phases 1–3 date to the Late Roman period. A floor was discovered in Phase 1. In Phase 2 three channels and a stone floor were discovered; one of the channels cut the floor of Phase 1 and cancelled its use. In Phase 3, the main channel and secondary channel L417 remained in use, while secondary channel L318 went out of use, and a floor was laid above it. The stone floor also went out of use in Phase 3. Walls dating to the Late Byzantine and Early Umayyad periods were discovered in Phase 4. The two channels that were still in used during Phase 3, no longer functioned in this phase.
Area F (Fig. 18)
A wall (W508; length 4.5 m, width 0.95 m, preserved height 1.1 m; Fig. 19) aligned east–west was exposed. It was built of two rows of coarsely hewn medium-sized stones (0.17 × 0.23 × 0.30 m) and a core of ashlars, some in secondary use, bonded with a mixture of fieldstones and mud mortar. The southern face of the wall was coated with white plaster containing small limestone inclusions (thickness 2.5–3.0 cm), and over it a layer of hard, light pink plaster, mixed with small pottery fragments. The northern face of the wall was coated with white plaster containing small limestone inclusions (thickness 2.5–3.0 cm) and a top layer of light gray hydraulic plaster with gravel fragments. Incised grooves in the hydraulic plaster were probably intended as a key for another layer of plaster that was not preserved.
A small channel (L503, exposed length 2.25 m, overall width 0.6 m, inner width 0.2 m) was exposed south of the wall and parallel to it. The channel was coated with light pink plaster mixed with pottery sherds, similar to the plaster on the southern face of the wall. The same plaster was also applied along the top edge of the channel’s walls and it therefore seems that the channel was not covered. A layer of fieldstones and tamped soil (L504, L506) was exposed between the wall and the channel, which were evidently part of a single installation.
Soil accumulation above the wall and the channel contained fragments of pottery dating to the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods, among them polychrome splash-glazed bowls (Fig. 20:1, 2) from the ninth–tenth centuries CE, and decorated bowls (Fig. 20:3, 4), a basin (Fig. 20:5) and jars (Fig. 20:6, 7) from the sixth–early eighth century CE. Other objects in the accumulation included an elliptical metal fragment (0.10 × 0.15 m), possibly of artillery shell, and animal bones, primarily pigs but also sheep/goats and cattle. The pig bones support other finds that indicate that the majority of the population of Jerusalem during the Umayyad period was Christians.