Bedrock was exposed throughout the excavation area at an average elevation of 767 m above sea level. Bedrock surface was naturally leveled and overlain with a thin layer of red terra rosa soil, which was mostly preserved in bedrock cracks and was usually devoid of any finds.
A gray plaster floor embedded with small stones, including tesserae (L110; Fig. 2: Sections 1-1, 2-2), was partially preserved in the southwestern part of the square, above natural bedrock, at an elevation of c. 767.4 m above sea level. The floor could not be associated with any building. It was dated to the Early Islamic period (eighth–tenth centuries CE) based on the ceramic finds recovered from its dismantling and from the soil fill beneath it (L112, L113): bowls (Fig. 3:12–15), a jug (Fig. 3:16), a cooking pot (Fig. 3:17) and a jar (Fig. 3:18). The floor in L110 joined other finds from the later part of the Byzantine period and the Early Islamic period, which were exposed on either side of the Ottoman city wall north of Jaffa Gate, indicating that the region was quite active then, even though it was probably laid outside the bounds of the city’s fortifications (for a reconstruction of the Byzantine city wall line see the map at the end of Y. Tsafrir, The History of Jerusalem: The Roman and Byzantine Periods [70–38 CE], 1999). These finds included, for example, the bathhouse and the street with shops that were exposed outside Jaffa Gate (ESI 14:94–95) and the drainage channels and pool that were excavated in the Knights’ Palace Hotel (HA-ESI 113:79*–80*).
Fragments of pottery vessels from earlier periods were also found in the fill below Floor 110. These included bowls and kraters with folded rims from the later part of the Iron Age (seventh to early sixth centuries BCE; Fig. 3:1–6); jars from the Early Roman period (the first half of the first century CE; Fig. 3:7, 8) and jars (Fig. 3:9, 10) and a lamp (Fig. 3:11) from the end of the Byzantine and the Umayyad period (end of the sixth–beginning of the eighth century CE). The Iron Age potsherds were not worn, suggesting their provenance was in the vicinity of the excavation, c. 200 m north of the presumed city wall line at the end of the Iron Age. These finds join others of this period that were discovered in the Christian and Muslim Quarters of the Old City and bear witness to the activities in the area during this period (Barkai 1999, Innovations in the Study of Jerusalem:159).
A square dressed stone (0.60 × 0.75 m, height 0.50 m) was revealed in situ, on bedrock, in the southern part of the square and seems to have been part of a wall (W102; Fig. 2: Section 1-1). A scattering of fieldstones was found on the western side of the stone and above it. However, the limited excavation area precluded the determination whether the dressed stone was part of a wall or a collapse. Floor 110 did not abut W102.
Overlying Floor 110 was a loose soil fill (L108; thickness c. 0.5 m; Fig. 2: Sections 1-1, 2-2) that contained pottery fragments and a few stones and animal bones. The pottery vessels were mostly bowls, mainly treated with various shades of green glaze and dating primarily to the Crusader and Ayyubid periods (twelfth–thirteenth centuries CE; Fig. 4: 1–6). The fill (L108) was sealed by a partially preserved layer of tamped soil (L107; Fig. 2: Sections 1-1, 2-2). The layer, which included spots of ash and stones, was probably used as a floor. Its partial preservation, however, did not enable its association with any structure. The layer was dated to the Mamluk period (mid thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE) based on the fragments of the pottery vessels it contained (Fig. 4:7).
A dark brown-gray colored soil fill (L120) that consisted of animal bones and potsherds overlaid L107. The fill was sealed with a tamped level of soil and stones (L106; Fig. 2: Sections 1-1, 2-2), which together with the fill below it was dated to the Ottoman period (mid fifteenth–eighteenth/nineteenth centuries CE; Fig. 4:8, 9). A wall foundation in the northeastern part of the square (W103; length c. 3.5 m, width 1.5 m, height 1.0 m; Fig. 2: Sections 1-1–3-3) was built directly on bedrock and comprised two rows of medium-sized fieldstones, smoothed on the exterior, and a fieldstone core. It could not be dated because no floor abutted it. Nonetheless, it is obvious that W103 postdated Floors 106, 107 and 110, as it cuts them. It should probably be dated to the later part of the Ottoman period, since its top was found sealed beneath a modern fill (L102, Fig. 2: Sections 1-1–3-3) that contained Marseilles roof tiles, dating to the end of the nineteenth–beginning of the twentieth centuries CE. The modern fill abutted W101, which was probably part of the storage building that was apparently erected at this time and whose upper part was dismantled to make room for the new construction.
Two modern pits, dating to the twentieth century, were found: a lime pit (L109; Fig. 2: Sections 1-1, 3-3) in the eastern part of the excavation area that damaged W103, and a stone-lined pit (L105; Fig. 2: Section 2-2) in the western part of the excavation area, whose bottom was bedrock-hewn.
The exposed finds from the Middle Ages, Ottoman period and modern era were stratified inside the fortified city, indicating that the area was probably remained open, with no buildings, until the later part of the Ottoman period.