Area A yielded the remains of a northeast–southwest building (Building 1; Fig. 2). The entire length of the building’s outer western wall was preserved (W514; Fig. 3), as was a section of the building’s outer southern wall (W545; Fig. 4). Not a single trace remained of the building’s northern and eastern outer walls. Wall 514 was founded on the kurkar bedrock, and its foundations were made of concrete mixed with seashell fragments. Above it lay courses of roughly dressed kurkar stones bonded with a material made of hamra. Several wall sections (W518, W519, W539) delineating at least two rooms (Rooms 1, 2) were discovered in the north part of the building. The walls were built of coarsely dressed kurkar stones and founded directly on bedrock with no concrete foundations.
Area B, c.10 m northeast of Area A, yielded meager remains of a building (Building 2; Fig. 5). An east–west wall (W510; Fig. 6) built of dressed kurkar stones bonded with hamra-based mortar was unearthed; the stones were laid directly on top of the kurkar bedrock, which drops sharply from west to east. The east part of the wall was preserved to the height of six courses. The five lower courses were constructed of mostly undressed, small and medium-sized stones bonded with a large quantity of mortar. In contrast, the upper course was built of well-dressed rectangular stones; it therefore may have been the first course above the level of the building’s floor (Fig. 7). Several wall sections (W542, W543, W552, W562) built in a similar method were discovered southwest of W510, where they appear to have delineated several of the building’s rooms.
The two excavated buildings and the surrounding area yielded pottery (see Appendix), glassware (Ouahnouna, see below) and coins (Krispin, see below) dating from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century CE. The pottery and glassware are characteristic everyday ware, indicating that the buildings were used as dwellings.
Glass Finds
Brigitte Ouahnouna
The few glass items found in the excavation are of well-known types from the early twentieth century CE (Gorin-Rosen, In press; Ouahnouna 2019; In press). Six are presented here (Fig. 8).
No. 1 is an almost complete small bottle, belonging to the group of medicinal bottles, probably the largest and most diverse group of bottles produced during this period. Staggering in its variety of shapes and sizes, this group has been the subject of several studies (e.g., Fike 1987). The bottle is made of amber-colored glass, a common color in this group, as it provides the best protection from the light wavelengths that are responsible for most photochemical reactions. As common in vessels used for medicine, the volume is stamped on the bottom of the bottle.
No. 2 is an old Bovril bottle, dated to the 1930s. Bovril is a trademarked English beef extract. The front and back have raised lettering that reads “2oz. Bovril Limited”; one side bears the number 317 under the word “Limited”. Raised lettering on the bottom of the bottle reads “Bottle made in England” around the edges, and “By FGC” in the center. FGC stands for Forsters Glass Company Ltd., which was in Lancashire, England. Like No. 1, this bottle is amber in color. Identical bottles have been found in the excavation on Ha-Yamit Street in Yafo (Ouahnouna 2019) and at Kefar Gevirol/Qubeibeh (Ouahnouna In press).
No. 3 is a complete inkwell bearing the trademark “Waterman S.A.”. The Waterman company, established in 1884 in New York City by Lewis Edson Waterman, is a major manufacturer of ink and fountain pens to this day and one of the few remaining first-generation fountain pen companies.This object is extremely corroded, and it is difficult to read the inscriptions on the body and on the bottom.
No. 4 is a part of a citrus press made of thick, colorless glass; a few protruding thorns remain from the upper part of the item. No. 5 is a small plate made of thick, colorless glass, decorated with a band of quadrangular sections on its external surface. No. 6 is a flat fragment of green glass—part of either a dish or a window pane. It bears a vegetal decoration of stems and flowers separated by small dots.
These glass finds comprise a modest repertoire representing an aspect of the daily life in Palestine during the first half of the twentieth century CE. Although far from being items of luxury or value, these objects are of importance because they were found within a clear archaeological context.
Shahar Krispin
Twelve coins were recovered from the excavation, most of them bronze or copper; ten coins were identified (1–10; Table 1). The coins date from the first half of the twentieth century CE, with the exception of one silver coin (No. 1) from the reign of Sultan Mahmud II (1808–1839 CE). This coin was perforated, probably in order to wear it as jewelry once it had ceased to be legal tender. Five coins (Nos. 4–8) were minted by the British authorities during the British Mandate (1927–1947 CE). A coin from the Republic of China (No. 3) minted in 1920 is an exceptional find; the circumstances of its arrival here are unknown. The latest coin in the assemblage (No. 10) was minted in 1949, after the founding of the State of Israel.
Table 1. The coins from the excavation
Date (CE)
Sultan Mahmud II, Ottoman
Sultan ‘Abd el-Hamid II, Ottoman
Republic of China
British Mandate
King Farouk I, Egypt
State of Israel
The remains of the buildings unearthed in the excavation date from the time of the British Mandate, as indicate by the foundations of several of the walls which were made of concrete mixed with seashells. Most of the material finds also date from this period. The architectural remains belong to houses in the Arab village of Summayl, which existed until 1948. The finds are characteristic of the material culture of Palestine during this period, but the buildings’ poor state of preservation makes it impossible to ascertain their use.