Square 1
Two phases dating from the Early Islamic period were identified: an early phase (II), ascribed to the late eighth – early ninth century CE; and a late phase (I) that dates to the second half of the ninth century CE.
Phase II. A built drainage channel (L155; width 0.5 m, depth 0.9 m; Figs. 3, 4) ran in an east–west direction. The channel walls (W7, W8) were wide and built of stones bonded with lime-based mortar mixed with a large quantity of ash and olive pits; no plaster remains were found on them. The channel floor was constructed in a similar manner and was treated with hydraulic plaster. The channel was covered with stone slabs of uniform size. Fragments of pottery vessels belonging to types that were used throughout the Early Islamic period were found both inside and outside the channel. Remains of a plaster floor (L121) were revealed in the accumulation that covered the channel. Pottery sherds dating to the ninth–tenth centuries CE (Arnon, below; Fig. 5) were found under the floor (L131). The sherds that were recovered from the accumulations that covered the remains date to this period as well.
Phase I. A wall (W4) was erected above Floor 121. Its outer face was built of dressed stones, and its inner face was constructed of roughly hewn stones. The wall was preserved to a height of one course and continued eastward, beyond the limits of the excavation.
Square 2
A cistern, a storage pool, a drainage channel and an installation (Fig. 6) were discovered. They probably belong to a courtyard of a building that lies outside the excavation area. Two phases (II, I) were identified.
Phase II. A wall (W10) built of high-quality ashlars was exposed at the western end of the square. It survived to a height of three courses and had a west-facing opening (W10A; width 0.7 m) installed in it. A rectangular cistern (L171; Fig. 7) located east of W10 was covered with a barrel vault. Two terra-cotta pipes set in the ceiling of the cistern drained water from the roof of a nearby structure into the cistern. The cistern had a square opening (0.4 × 0.4 m) that was found sealed with soil. The walls of the opening (W18, W19, W19A, W21) were constructed of stones bonded with gray mortar. The cistern was only partially excavated. A rectangular storage pool (L141; internal dimensions 1 × 2 m) was excavated c. 1 m east of the cistern. The walls (W11, W15–W17) and the floor of the pool were built of stones bonded with mortar (average preservation height c. 0.8 m; Fig. 6: Section 2–2). The pool’s floor was constructed directly upon the sand. Gray hydraulic plaster was applied to the surfaces of the pool. The pool’s southern corner was damaged, its floor was cracked and the floor south of the crack had settled (Fig. 9). Pottery sherds dating from the ninth–tenth centuries CE were collected during the excavation of the pool. A floor (L164) of smooth stones of various sizes preserved all along the northern balk of the square abutted the cistern and the storage pool. Pottery sherds from the ninth–tenth centuries CE were gathered from the floor foundation. The system that conveyed water to the pool was not found. The floor, the cistern and the pool were covered with an accumulation, in which two phases were discerned: a lower phase (L156) that contained pottery sherds from the ninth century CE, and an upper phase (L139) with sherds dating from the second half of the ninth century – beginning of the tenth century CE.
Phase I. Several changes were made in the courtyard during this phase. The opening in W10 was sealed, and an installation (L148; Figs. 6: Sections 1–1, 2–2; 10) was built south of the blockage; Wall 10 served as its western wall. The other three walls were constructed of bonded stones that were not plastered. No feeder or drainage system was found, and it therefore seems that the installation was used to store liquids. A thick layer of ash covered the installation, but the absence of any signs of burning in the installation or around it suggests that the ash was discarded into the installation. A drainage channel set on a stone floor was erected between the storage pool and the cistern. The channel’s walls (W23) were built of bonded stones, and its ceiling was made of roughly hewn stone slabs. The channel was partially preserved near the southwestern corner of the pool. A terra-cotta pipe inserted through a hole drilled in the wall of the pool conveyed water to the channel.
Squares 2a–2e, 3–5
Meager remains that included plaster floors (L209), foundation courses of a stone wall (W38) and a large amount of ash mixed with burnt animal bones was unearthed.
Square 6
Three phases were identified (III–I; Fig. 11).
Phase III. A plaster floor (L144; Fig. 11: Section 1–1) was founded on several layers of fill used for leveling the surface (L151, L153). Pottery sherds dating to the Abbasid period were collected on and below the floor (Figs. 12, 13:1–6).
Phase II. A new gray plaster floor (L132) was laid. It abutted a wall (W14) built of medium–large fieldstones set on a fieldstone foundation.
Phase I. In this phase, the upper courses of W14 were apparently dismantled, and a new plaster floor (L119) was laid on top of a fill. Sherds dating to the ninth–tenth centuries CE (Fig. 13:7–11) were gathered from the floor foundation. A coin found in the accumulation above the floor dates to the fourteenth century CE (Kool, below: No. 13).
Square 7
Two phases were identified (II, I; Fig. 14).
Phase II. A corner of a building was exposed. Its walls (W1, W2) were constructed of roughly hewn stones (average size 0.2 × 0.3 × 0.4 m). Wall 1 was built of a single row of stones, whereas all that remained of W2 was one of the outer row of stones and the core. The two walls were preserved to a height of one course above the foundation course, which was built of small fieldstones. A plaster floor (L158) installed on a layer of hamra abutted the walls inside the corner. Wall 1 was abutted on the outside by two plaster floors: one floor (L145) was laid directly on sand, and a second floor (L137) was laid above the first. Two sherds from the Early Islamic period and an Abbasid coin dating from the ninth–tenth century CE (Kool, below: No. 4) were found in the excavation of Floors 145 and 137. 
Phase I. The habitation level was raised and new floors were laid down. A plaster floor (L136), whose bedding contained sherds from the Abbasid period, was laid inside the room. Floor 137, outside the room, was replaced by Floor 134; sherds dating to the Fatimid period (tenth–eleventh centuries CE) were collected from it.
Squares 8a–8c
Three phases were identified (III–I; Fig. 15).
Phase III. A square basin (L214; 0.6 × 0.6 m) treated with hydraulic plaster treated with hydraulic plaster was exposed at the southwestern end of Sq 8a. The basin’s walls (W3, W22, W29; preserved height 0.6 m) were built of bonded stones. Pottery sherds that date to the Abbasid period were found inside the basin. Water flowed into the basin from a built channel (W28; length 12.5 m) that was partially preserved; the channel began in a settling pit (L223) that was apparently connected to a gutter. The walls of the pit (preserved height 0.3 m) and the channel were built of bonded stones and treated with hydraulic plaster. Terra-cotta pipes used to supply and drain water were set into the walls of the settling pit and into the basin. A well-preserved plaster floor (L220) in Sq 8a abutted the channel and the basin from the north. South of the channel was a floor foundation (L215) of stones placed on a soil fill (L219), from which Abbasid-period sherds (Fig. 16) were collected. A coin from the fourteenth century CE (Kool, below: No. 15) was recovered from the accumulations above the settling pit and the channel.
Phase II. A circular installation (L154; inner diam. 3.5 m, outer diam. 4.5 m, preserved height 0.13 m; Fig. 15: Section 1–1) was built in Sq 8c. The wall (W25) and foundations of the installation were built of well-dressed ashlars. A coin dating to the fourteenth century CE was found inside it (Kool, below: No. 10). Two ashlar-built walls (W13, W23) preserved to a height of one course above a foundation course were exposed west of the installation. Pottery sherds from the Early Islamic period and an Abbasid coin (Kool, below: No. 5) were collected from around the installation.
Phase I. Installation 154 was no longer used during this phase; its floor was breached and a cesspit (L169; inner diam. 1.2 m, outer diam. 1.6 m; Fig. 17) was constructed inside it. The wall of the pit (W26) was built of dry fieldstone construction. The pit lacked a floor and was covered with a dome. A multitude of pottery sherds were discovered inside it (Figs. 18, 19), the latest of which date from the Fatimid period (tenth–eleventh centuries CE).
Yael Datia Arnon
Two main periods are represented in the ceramic corpus: the ninth-tenth centuries CE (the Tulunid reign) and the tenth-eleventh centuries (the Fatimid period). Apart from some unstratified sherds, the Umayyad period (eighth century CE) is not represented, in contrast to the finds in previous excavation on Marcus Street; no Crusader, Mamluk or Ottoman pottery was found. Although not counted, the impression is that most of the sherds are of a domestic character: tableware, basins, cooking ware and permanent storage vessels (such as zirs) rather than portable ones, making it reasonable to suggest that this was a dwelling zone. No luxury items were found, and most of the vessels are of types that were common in an average household. Only one vessel, which included mica flakes in its temper, was identified as an import (Fig. 9:8). Two installations (squares 2, 8) were sealed by a pottery dump of the ninth–tenth centuries CE, pointing to the probable date when they ceased to function. Only a representative sample of the ceramic finds is illustrated.
Square 1. Sherds dating to the ninth–tenth centuries CE were found in the foundation of Floor 121 (L131). These included plain bowls (Fig. 5:1–4, 6, 7) and glazed ones (Fig. 5:5, 8), jugs (Fig. 5:9, 10), a zir jar (Fig. 5:11), juglets (Fig. 5:12, 13) a pomegranate-like vessel (Fig. 5:14) and a painted handle (Fig. 5:15).
Square 6. Sherds dating to the ninth century CE were discovered below Floor 144, including a plain bowl (Fig. 12:1), a glazed bowl (Fig. 12:2), a krater (Fig. 12:3), a jug (Fig. 12:4), a cup (Fig. 12:5) and a lamp (Fig. 12:6). The sherds found on this floor included fragments of a cooking pot that is an imitation of a steatite vessel (Fig. 13:1), a plain bowl (Fig. 13:2), a zir jar (Fig. 13:3), jugs (Fig. 13:4, 5) and a lid (Fig. 13:6). Beneath Floor 119, which is ascribed to the late phase, were sherds that date to the ninth–tenth centuries CE, including plain bowls (Fig. 13:7, 8), a jar (Fig. 13:9), a jug (Fig. 13:10) and a lid (Fig. 13:11).
Square 8a. Sherds dating to the tenth–eleventh centuries CE were found in the foundation of Floor 215 (L219). These included plain bowls (Fig. 16:1–4), glazed bowls (Fig. 16:5), jars (Fig. 16:6, 7), a zir jar (Fig. 16:8) and jugs (Fig. 16:9–13).
Square 8c. Several pottery sherds that date to the ninth–tenth centuries CE and particularly the eleventh century CE were found in the accumulation inside Pit 169. These included a basin (Fig. 18:1), glazed bowls (Fig. 18:2–4), a frying pan (Fig. 18:5), a glazed pot (Fig. 18:6), a jug or a jar (Fig. 18:7), jugs and juglets (Fig. 18:8–13), jars (Fig. 19:1–4) and a juglet-shaped lamp (Fig. 19:5).
The Coins
Robert Kool
Twenty-nine coins were found in the excavation. Fifteen of these were identified (Table 1).
Several are worn ‘Abbasid copper fulus (Nos. 4, 5, 9, 10) found in plaster floors and accumulations, frequently with Early Islamic pottery dated to the same period. A few earlier, residual, Byzantine period—small bronzes (fourth–sixth centuries; Nos. 1–3)—were also found. Evidence of activity at the site during the Mamluk period is provided by several fourteenth-century CE coppers, starting with the reign of Nasir Muhammad I (1310–1341 CE) and continuing into the second half of the fourteenth century CE (Nos. 11–15).
Table 1. Identified Coins
Date (CE)
Late Roman
4th–5th c.
6th c.
9th–10th c.
Al-Nāṣir Muhammad I, Nāṣir al-Dīn, third reign
(AH 709–741/1310–1341 CE)
Al-Naṣir Naṣir al-Dīn Ḥasan
(AH 783–784/1347–1361 CE)
14th–15th c.
The excavation yielded Remains of one or more buildings, but they do not constitute a clear plan. The cistern and storage pool revealed Sq 2 indicate that the activity conducted in the courtyard involved the use of large amounts of water. It seems that the installations that were uncovered in Sq 8 were used in a courtyard belonging to a residential building, not in an industrial zone. A street uncovered in a nearby excavation (Toueg 2006Toueg 2007) appears to continue in Sq 5, where no architectural remains were found. The architectural remains found in Toueg's excavation date to the Abbasid and Fatimid periods; during the Fatimid period, the buildings were abandoned and their walls were dismantled. In the current excavation remains of these two periods were also discovered. However, it is clearly apparent that the Abbasid layer is the predominant archaeological stratum.

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