The Hellenistic Period. A wall (W113; exposed length 7 m, width c. 1 m; Fig. 4) uncovered in the center of Area A was built of dry construction of kurkar blocks; some of the stones were coarsely dressed. The wall was preserved to a maximum height of two courses. Since no openings, installations or floors were preserved along it, it was probably a foundation wall. The wall may have belonged to a large building or served to enclose or support agricultural plots. A corner of a building (W106) and clusters of stones (L114, L120, L131), possibly remnants of walls, were exposed nearby. All the pottery from the deposits abutting the architectural remains was from the fourth–second centuries BCE, including an intact mortarium (L129; Figs. 5, 6). Also recovered were two Ptolemaic coins from the fourth–third centuries BCE, one from the reign of Ptolemy I (IAA 147437; Fig. 7), and the other from a Ptolemaic ruler of uncertain identity (IAA 147438).
A wide, shallow pit dug into the natural sand (L202, L216) was exposed in Area B. It was sealed with a thick layer of ash (0.1–0.3 m thick; Fig. 8) that contained a large quantity of pottery sherds and animal bones. The pit was used for dumping refuse, but as no industrial waste, slags or similar finds were recovered from the pit, it probably did not serve any industrial activity. The pit yielded a bronze pin preserved in its entirety (Fig. 9), two small anthropomorphic artifacts made of blue glass and a Seleucid coin (IAA 147439) that was found above the layer of ash. Fragments of pottery were also recovered from the pit: lamps, including a fourth-century BCE Attic lamp (Fig. 10); local and imported storage, cooking and table ware, including imported amphorae; and a cluster of twelve stamped handles from the Hellenistic period, including a third-century BCE Thasian handle (Fig. 11). This is one of the largest clusters of stamped handles to be discovered in Yafo to date.
The Byzantine Period. In the east of Area B (L210, L215), about 1 m above the Hellenistic stratum, numerous potsherds from the later part of the Byzantine period were recovered (fifth–seventh centuries CE). In addition to jars, the pottery consisted mainly of cooking and serving ware and lamps. No architectural remains could be attributed to these finds. The assemblage is similar to those previously exposed in nearby streets, and it is reasonable to assume that its source is related to farming by residents of Yafo and the neighboring farms.
The Late Ottoman Period. The foundations of two walls (W138, W139; Fig. 12) built of dressed kurkar stones and fieldstones bonded with dense reddish soil were unearthed in the west part of Area A; the walls were preserved up to the height of ten courses. The walls, which probably belonged to a large building, were constructed in a method characteristic of the late Ottoman period in Yafo. Pottery dating from the second half of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries CE, including Gaza ware, was discovered in the deposits abutting the walls. A tile stamped with the emblem of a bear (Fig. 13)—probably produced during the British Mandate period—was also recovered.
Although the excavation revealed meager building remains from the Hellenistic period, the pottery points to extensive activity at the site or in its vicinity during this period. As the site is too distant from Tel Yafo to have been part of the city, it should be assumed that a farm operated at the site and in its immediate environs during the third century BCE. The high percentage of amphorae and imported vessels is an indication that its occupants were wealthy. This farm can be added to other farms that operated in the rural hinterland of Yafo during the Hellenistic period (Jakoel 2011
). The site was probably abandoned in the second century BCE, possibly as a result of the Hasmonean conquest of Yafo (Arbel 2011
), although no evidence of destruction or sudden desertion was apparent. The absence of finds from the Roman period attests to a settlement gap at the site. The many Byzantine potsherds and the absence of architectural remains from this period indicate agricultural activity in the area, as evidenced by contemporary industrial pressing installations discovered not far from the excavated area (Peilstöcker et al. 2006
; Arbel and Rauchberger 2015
). Another gap in settlement evidently occurred after the Byzantine period and ended with the urbanization of the farmlands east of Yafo in the late nineteenth century CE (Kark 1990