One excavation square (A; 3.3 × 8.5 m; Fig. 1), whose limited dimensions were due to safety precautions, revealed the southern and upper part of a built water cistern. The remains of a rock-hewn cist tomb, quarrying activity and an ashlar stone with drafted margins that was not in situ, were discovered in another square (B), further down the road and c. 30 m west of the Sq A.
The cistern was delimited from the east and west by two fieldstone-built walls (W1, W3; Fig. 2) founded directly on the ground. Between the walls and inside the cistern was a built pillar that supported two arches (W2), to the north and south, parallel to Walls 1 and 3. The arches were built of ashlar stones and the courses above them consisted of fieldstones. The interior faces of Walls 1 and 3 and the arches were coated with two layers of hydraulic plaster: a layer of gray cement mixed with carbon and an upper layer of pink bonding material that contained crushed potsherds. The cistern could not be excavated to its bottom, yet the upper layers of the accumulation (L100; depth 2 m) contained fragments of pottery and glass vessels from the Byzantine period (sixth–seventh centuries CE), as well as a fragment of a handmade bowl and a glass bracelet from the Mamluk or Ottoman period. The northern arch denoted the continuation of the cistern in that direction, below the road. The vault that could be seen at the top of the walls indicated that two barrel vaults covered the cistern. They were probably destroyed at the time of the British Mandate when the road was paved.
Despite the limited scope of the excavation, it was determined that the cistern was used for storing rainwater. The results of the 14C analyses on the carbon samples taken from the plaster show two ranges of dates from the Byzantine period: 430–560 CE (with an accuracy of 68%) and 420–610 CE (with an accuracy of 94%). The cistern was probably used also during the Mamluk and Ottoman periods (fourteenth–nineteenth centuries CE).
The cistern should possibly be associated with the buildings from the Byzantine period that were exposed by E. Sukenik and L. Mayer in the 1925–1927 excavations of the Third Wall (Fig. 1; E.L. Sukenik and L. Mayer, The Third Wall Excavations, Jerusalem 1931).