Area A (Fig. 3)
Pool (L113; exposed dimensions 4.65 × 6.60 m, depth 2 m; Fig. 4). The pool was built of large, roughly hewn fieldstones and was coated with plaster. Three of its walls were revealed (W4, W5, W8). The pool extended eastward, beyond the limits of the excavation. The bottom of the pool sloped to the north, toward a drainage channel, installed in the pool’s northern wall. The plaster in the pool consisted of two layers—a bottom layer that included large pottery sherds and fragments of flat stones and a top layer of lime-based plaster containing gravel and light pink-colored paint. Soil mixed with fragments of pottery vessels from the Mamluk period, three bronze coins from the Mamluk period and glassware from the Byzantine and Mamluk periods (see Ouahnouna, Appendix, below) were discovered in the pool.
The ceramic artifacts included glazed bowls (Fig. 5:1–4); handmade bowls (Fig. 5:5, 6); a cooking pot (Fig. 5:7); jars (Fig. 5:8, 9), including a handmade jar decorated with geometric patterns (Fig. 5:9); and jugs (Fig. 5:10–15), including a wheel-made jug (Fig. 5:14) and a handmade jug adorned with geometric patterns (Fig. 5:15). The coins included one from the year 1389 CE dated to the reign of al-Salah Haji II minted in Damascus (IAA 104772), a coin from 1250–1517 CE (IAA 141608) and a coin from 1300–1499 CE (IAA 1004773). The glassware included a fragment of a base of a beaker dating to the Byzantine period (not illustrated); a bowl fragment (see Ouahnouna, Appendix, Fig 1:1); a fragment of a small kohl bottle made of purple glass (see Ouahnouna, Appendix, Fig 1:2); and two beaker bases (see Ouahnouna, Appendix, Fig 1:3) from the Mamluk period. Based on the finds, it seems that the pool ceased to be used in the Mamluk period. Judging by the plaster applied to the pool and the light pink color of the upper layer of plaster, the pool may have been constructed in the Byzantine period.
Water Channels. Six channels (L103, L116, L120, L125, L127, L133; Fig. 6) showing three construction phases were found. Channels 125, 127 and 133 were from the earliest phase. Channel 127 (exposed length 1.55 m, width 0.3 m; Fig. 7) was built in an east–west direction and only its western end was exposed. Its walls were built of medium-sized roughly hewn stones and fieldstones to a height of one course. The channel was treated with white lime-based plaster containing gravel and was covered with large roughly hewn stone slabs. The bottom of the channel sloped to the west. A dressed building stone was incorporated in secondary use in its outlet (height 0.35 m). Channel 125 was exposed after dismantling Channel 120, which blocked its opening. Channel 125 dated to the late Ottoman period (nineteenth–twentieth centuries CE); only its outlet was excavated (exposed length 0.8–0.9 m, width 0.65–0.80 m, height 1 m; Fig. 8). It was hewn in an east–west direction; its bottom, built of small fieldstones and light gray mortar, sloped toward the west. The channel was treated with pinkish-gray plaster mixed with grog and lumps of charcoal. At some point, the opening of the channel was made narrower by stone construction and a stone pipe (diam. 0.16 m) was installed on its bottom. The water from the channel drained west into Channel 133. Only a short segment of Channel 133 was exposed, opposite the opening of Channel 125 and below Channel 120, from the late Ottoman period. The channel was delineated from the west by a wall (W14) built of three courses (0.85 m) of medium and large roughly hewn stones. The bottom of the channel was made of small fieldstones and light gray mortar, similar to the bottom of Channel 125. The channel was plastered and sloped toward the west. After the channels were no longer used they were covered with soil and stones and Channels 116 and 120 and retaining walls (W3, W9) of the later phases were constructed on top of them.
Channel 120 (length 11.40 m, width 0.10–0.45 m) was ascribed to the intermediate phase. It was built in a north–south direction at the foot of Retaining Wall 3 and was treated with hard white lime-based plaster containing grog and gravel. It is possible that W3 was constructed in this phase for the purpose of supporting the channel. Water from a small channel (L120C; Fig. 3: Section 3–3) hewn 0.28 m above the southern end of Channel 120 drained into the latter channel. In a later phase, the southern part of Channel 120 ceased use (L120B; Fig. 9) and its northern part (L120A) was incorporated in new channels (103 and 116, below). Channel 120 was constructed in the late Ottoman period (nineteenth–twentieth centuries CE) based on the fragments of pottery vessels that were exposed in the foundation of its southern section (L120B). These ceramic finds included bowls (Fig. 10:1–3, 8, 10), among them decorated stoneware bowls imported from Europe (Fig. 10:1, 2), a porcelain bowl (Fig. 10:3) and a handmade bowl (Fig. 10:10), a porcelain cup (Fig. 10:11), a glazed cooking pot (Fig. 10:12), a glazed jar (Fig. 10:14), jars (Fig. 10:15–18), a jug (Fig. 10:28) and the tops of hookahs (Fig. 10:32, 33).
Channels 103 and 116 are attributed to the late phase. Channel 103 (length 3.8 m, width 0.5 m, height 0.5 m; Fig. 11) was oriented east–west. Its walls were built of fieldstones and modern building stones to a height of three courses. The channel was covered with large dressed stone slabs and treated with gray cement plaster, characteristic of the twentieth century. This channel drained into Channel 116, which was c. 0.5 m lower than it. Doorjambs showing combed stone dressing were incorporated in secondary use in the outlet of the channel. Channel 116 (length 9.2 m, width of southern side 0.7 m, width of northern side 0.25 m; Fig. 12), built in a north–south direction and coated with plaster, was constructed next to the western side of Channel 120 into which it was integrated. The bottom of Channel 116 sloped east toward Channel 120. The southern and western walls of Channel 116 were built of medium-sized building stones and were preserved to a height of two courses. The entire channel was treated with cement characteristic of the twentieth century. Channel 116 was supported on its western side by Retaining Wall 9.
The pool and channels were part of the agricultural irrigation systems from different periods that were constructed at the foot of the ʽEn Kerem spring. There was no connection between the channels of the intermediate and late phases, which were dated to the late Ottoman period, and the pool that went out of use in the Mamluk period. Likewise, there was no connection between the channels of the early phase and the pool. The drain for the pool was located on the northern side, whereas the channels were located south and west of the pool.
In Area A, ex situ finds were discovered, including pottery sherds ranging in date from the Roman to the Ottoman periods, a round metal seal, three bronze coins, two fragments of a glass bracelet and a stone section of a channel (length 0.46 m, width 0.30 m, wall height 0.22 m; Fig. 13). The ceramic finds from the Ottoman period include bowls (Fig. 10:4–7), jars (Fig. 10:19–25) and a jug (Fig. 10:29). The metal seal (Fig. 14) was exposed in the soil accumulation in Channel 116 and has a decorated handle. The seal is engraved with an Arabic inscription: Mustafa Abed Al-Kadar 1352 AH. The year 1352 AH corresponds to 1933/34 CE. The three bronze coins include one from 1917, the time of British rule in Egypt; a coin from 1941, the time of the British Mandate in Israel; and a coin from Finland that dates to 1990. The two fragments of the glass bracelet (see Ouahnouna, Appendix, Fig 1:4) were discovered in Area A, in soil fill between W3 and W5. They were made of thin twisted colorless glass with a yellow trail inside them and date to the Mamluk–Ottoman periods.
Area B (Figs. 15, 16)
Wall remains consisting of two construction phases were exposed. Remains of a wall of a building (W11A; length 2.1 m) are ascribed to the early phase, which was constructed of medium-sized stones and was preserved to a height of five courses (1 m). The outer western face of W11A was well constructed to a maximum height of four courses above brown soil. Two agricultural terrace retaining walls (W10, W11B) that formed a corner were ascribed to the late phase. The wall of the building (W11A) was incorporated in the northern part of Retaining Wall W11B. The retaining walls were mainly built of stacks of variously sized fieldstones.
Fragments of pottery vessels dating to the Roman, Mamluk and Ottoman periods were discovered in Area B. The ceramic finds from the Ottoman period included a handmade bowl (Fig. 10:9), a handmade cooking pot (Fig. 10:13), jars (Fig. 10:26, 27), a jug (Fig. 10:30) and a tobacco pipe (Fig. 10:31).
The irrigation systems discovered in the excavation at the foot of the ʽEn Kerem spring reflect the stable output of the spring over the years. The large storage pool shows that the output of the spring during the Mamluk period was high. The date of the wall of the building in Area B is unclear; however, after it went out of use, it was integrated in the system of farming terraces characteristic of the area.