A rectangular area (8 × 10 m; Fig. 1) to the west of an ancient underground vault, damaged by mechanical equipment, was opened and largely excavated. The walls of two rooms, built next to the exterior western wall of the Church of Ascension complex, were exposed. The northern (L105; 2.5 × 4.0 m) and southern (L104; 1.5 × 2.0 m) rooms were accessed via a narrow corridor (L121; width c. 1.2 m) that separated them. In the middle of the common wall shared by both rooms (W1–W2) was an entrance threshold (L200) that led east, via a stepped passage, toward the underground vault. Remains of a flagstone pavement (c. 0.2 × 0.3 m, c. 6 cm thick) in the two rooms and the corridor were set at nearly the same level. Other pavement remains, which abutted W1–W2, indicated that a courtyard probably existed west of this wall.
A rectangular entrance (0.3 × 0.4 m) was installed in the middle of W2, the western wall of L105, which led to a septic pit (below W4, W7 and W8), whose ceiling was a narrow vault oriented east–west that had survived in its entirety (1.0 × 4.3 m, depth c. 1.6 m). It can be assumed that the entrance and the septic pit were part of a toilet facility connected with the northern room. Adjacent to the western wall (W1) of L104, the southern room, a breach in the floor (c. 0.6 × 0.7 m) was exposed. It led to another septic pit covered with a vault (c. 2 × 3 m, depth c. 1.7 m) and was part of the toilet and corridor foundations above it.
Dozens of pottery fragments were recovered from the excavation area, half of them glazed. They formed a homogenous assemblage dating to the Mamluk period (thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE). Several potsherds from the disturbed fill belonged to the Byzantine period and the beginning of the Ottoman period. The glass vessels were also dated mostly to the Mamluk period. It seems that the two rooms were used as toilets by the guards and visitors to the Church of Ascension during the Mamluk period.
The Vaults (Fig. 2). The vaults to the east of the excavation area were examined. The groined northern vault, which was later and belonged to a traditional square building (c. 6.5 × 6.5 m, height 3.6 m), stood next to the earlier southern vault that was on a lower level. The vaults were connected by four steps. The southern vault had an irregular layout (c. 5 × 9 m, height 5 m) and was accessed by way of two entrances: a northern entrance (width 2.5 m), set in the later connection between the two vaults, and a western entrance in the middle of the vault’s western side that joined the narrow corridor (Loci 121, 200; 0.5 × 5.0 m) with the toilet rooms exposed in the excavation. The southern wall of the southern vault was built at a later period and utilized for the minaret construction of the adjacent Ez-Zawiya el-As‘adiya Mosque. The eastern wall the minaret that severed this vault belonged to this building phase and was erected a short distance from the northwestern side of the octagonal-shaped Crusader Church of the Ascension. In the northern part of this vault two similar niches (c. 1.3 × 2.0 m, depth 0.7 m) were installed opposite each other, one facing east and the other––west.