The buildings (1–5), oriented north–south, were meticulously and symmetrically set, one opposite the other (5 m apart), except for the northernmost Building 5, opposite which no other building was discovered. The buildings were constructed in a similar manner, albeit with slight variations. The walls, mostly preserved two–three courses high, were built of large well-dressed kurkar stones (average dimensions 0.25 × 0.30 × 0.40 m), bonded with white mortar mixed with crushed shells. Pillars were set in the corners of the buildings. The wall foundations dug into the clayey soil were built of small and medium roughly hewn kurkar stones, bonded with hamra mortar. Some of the wall foundations were vaulted (height c. 2.5 m). Based on the deep and massive foundations, it is assumed that the buildings stood at least two–three stories high. Vaulted foundations are characteristic of the Ottoman construction in Yafo and throughout Israel. Similar buildings in Yafo were exposed in excavations of the Ganor Compound (HA-ESI 121) and on Jerusalem Boulevard (west lane; Permit No. 5733).
The northeastern and southeastern corners of Building 1, discovered in the southwest, as well as the walls of the northernmost and southernmost rooms, were exposed. The remains are apparently the continuation of a building, identified as the Nabulsi House, which had been discovered in previous excavations at the intersection of Jerusalem Boulevard and Elat Street (HA-ESI 122).
Building 2 was north of Building 1. Due to modern disturbances and the limited excavation area, only the three eastern rooms in the rear of the building were exposed (length 17 m, min. width 4 m).
Building 3 was in the southeast, parallel to Building 1. The northwestern corner and the walls of the northernmost room were discovered. The western wall was apparently the building’s façade.
Building 4 was situated north of Building 3. The three western rooms and the western part of the three eastern rooms (each 5 × 5 m) were discovered. The western wall (length 17 m, min. width 3 m) constituted the building’s façade.
Building 5 was in the northwest, north of Building 2. The three eastern rooms (length of the eastern wall 18 m) were discovered and a later addition of two rooms in the north (preserved length 5 m) was exposed; the northern room (5 × 5 m) was preserved in its entirety.
Two vaulted cesspits, oriented north–south, were discovered; each cesspit was delimited by four walls. The vaults of the pits collapsed inside them. The absence of floors indicated they were used as cesspits. Similar cesspits were discovered in excavations on Razi’el Street (Permit No. A-5733).
One of the pits (L704; 4.5 × 5.6 m) was built between Buildings 2 and 4. The pit was not completely excavated due to safety issues. The pit’s ceiling adjoined the outer wall of Building 2 in its northwestern part and it seems that it was used as a roadbed in the Ottoman period. Due to extensive damage caused by installing contemporary infrastructures, no gutter or opening that connected the pit to the building was preserved.
Another cesspit (L731; 4.0 × 5.3 m) was discovered east of Building 5. The bottom of a plastered gutter was exposed in the southwestern part of the pit. It was built sloping from west to east, in the direction of the pit’s interior, and therefore, it seems that the pit was intended to serve Building 5. The bottom of a similar gutter was uncovered in the eastern part of the pit; it is suggested that it was used to drain rainwater from the street. A round pit (L726; inner diam. 0.8 m), built of medium-sized kurkar stones without mortar, was excavated c. 0.5 m north of Cesspit 731. Eight courses that were dug into a clayey layer were preserved. It was not possible to determine the purpose of the pit. The absence of a floor and its proximity to the cesspit suggests it was used for a similar purpose.
The identical style of the buildings and the drainage system, their elevations and location in the street, permits their attribution to a single phase, and suggests they were probably built according to the same plan.
The exposed building foundations belonged to the southern part of the Manshiyaneighborhood. Itgrew from a nucleus of a small village situated on the coast north of Yafo and was established by Egyptian peasants who arrived in the region in the wake of Ibrahim Pasha’s army in the first half of the nineteenth century CE. The exposed remains contribute to understanding the urban evolution and architectural development of Yafo in the Late Ottoman period and supplement historical evidence of the city’s expansion.
The activity in this period was renewed along the city’s outskirts; new neighborhoods were built north and south of Tel Yafo, and plantations flourished in the east.Large construction projects, including the paving of boulevards, were undertaken; these attest to the great investment by the Ottoman government in the city’s prosperity.