In December 2015, a salvage excavation was conducted in the Ha-Agamim neighborhood of Ashqelon (Permit No. A-7580; map ref. 158624/617335; Fig. 1), prior to development. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Almoni Construction and Development Company, Ltd., was directed by D. Eisenberg-Degen, with the assistance of Y. Al-‛Amor (administration), N. Zak (plans), V. Nosikovsky (metallurgical laboratory) and D.T. Ariel (numismatics).
The site was documented previously; see Map of Ziqim (91) (Berman, Stark and Barda 2004
). The following antiquities were uncovered in previous archaeological excavations conducted in the Ha-Agamim neighborhood: infant jar burials and a refuse pit that dates to the Late Roman period (Nahshoni 2001
), architectural remains from the Byzantine period (Nahshoni 2001
; Permit No. A-7510) and architectural remains from the Ottoman period and the time of the British Mandate (Peretz 2015
In the current excavation, a single square was opened in which meager building remains from the Byzantine period were exposed (Fig. 2).
Fragments of mud bricks, small kurkar stones, several small lumps of concrete, some ash, and jar sherds (L102, L103, L104) were exposed, spread over the northern part of the square. The pottery sherds (not drawn), ash and concrete were found mixed among the mud bricks. These were not architectural remains as such, but rather the remains of a collapsed wall that did not survive. Kurkar stones were also found in the eastern part of the square. Two coins and a metal item (pendant?) were discovered below the northern concentration of bricks (L104): one coin dated to 364–375 CE (IAA 154648) and the other to 378–383 CE (IAA 154649). The sherds and coins date the remains to the Byzantine period.
The excavation revealed a scant amount of architectural remains that date to the Byzantine period; these join other contemporary remains that were previously uncovered in the vicinity.
Nahshoni P. 2001. Ashqelon, Khirbat Khisas. HA-ESI 113: 109*–110*.
Peretz I. 2015. Ashqelon, Khirbat Khis
. HA-ESI 127