Plaster Floors from the Mamluk Period. A small area was excavated to a considerable depth in Sq 1, revealing portions of three superimposed plaster floors (L112, L113, L116). A soil fill that contained a Mamluk krater sherd (Fig. 3:18) was discovered below the lowest floor (L116). Floor 112, the uppermost, was laid directly over Floor 113. On the south, it abutted the meager remains of a wall: only several of its foundation stones were preserved. The excavation of the floors and underlying soil fills yielded pottery sherds dating to the Mamluk period.
In Sq 2, three superimposed plaster floors (L114, L115, L117) were exposed, all of which were founded on a soil fills. Pottery sherds of a krater (Fig. 3:19) and a bowl (Fig. 3:1), dating to the Mamluk period, were discovered in the lowest floor (L117). The excavation of the upper floor (L114; Fig. 4) yielded pottery sherds of a bowl (Fig. 3:2) and a jug (Fig. 3:26) from the Mamluk period, and part of a steatite vessel from the Abbasid period (Fig. 3:33). The three floors were damaged when the foundation trench of a wall cut into them. The floors in the northern part of the square abutted a robber trench, only part of which was exposed in the excavation. The northern edge of the square yielded another section of a plaster floor (L106; Fig. 5), which extended beyond the limits of the excavation area, with a layer of soil fill below it. The excavation of both elements revealed pottery sherds, the latest of which date to the Mamluk period, including a glazed bowl (Fig. 3:3) and a jar (Fig. 3:24). A soil fill (L105) was exposed above Plaster Floor 106. A jug (Fig. 3:29) decorated in barbotine style, dating to the Mamluk period, was discovered in Fill 105.
Remains of a plaster floor (L118) that was damaged by a later wall were revealed in Sq 3. Above Floor 118 lay a crushed-chalk floor (L108) that was partially exposed in the northern part of the square. Fragments of a krater (Fig. 3:20), jar (Fig. 3:25) and a pomegranate-shaped container (Fig. 3:32), all dating to the Mamluk period, were found in these floors and the underlying soil fills.
Building Foundations from the Ottoman Period
. Wall foundations of a building (W201–W204) were exposed in Sqs 2 and 3. Two arches (Fig. 6) were set into W201, the longest of the walls. A deep foundation was built between the two arches, the bottom of which was not exposed, even by means of a backhoe. The western end of W201 formed a corner with W203, which delimited the building from the west and continued southward outside the excavation. Wall 204 abutted W201 from the south and was evidently used to partition the inside of the building. Wall 202 abutted the northern side of W201 and continued northward, beyond the area of excavation. The construction method, including the arched wall, is characteristic of the Ottoman period; similar buildings with arched walls from this period were discovered in Ramla (Toueg 2011b
), Yafo, Jerusalem and ‘Akko; some of them are still standing.
Soil accumulations contained pottery sherds dating mainly to the Mamluk period. Two such accumulations, one on top of the other (L104, L111), were exposed below the surface in the southern part of Sq 1. These accumulations yielded pottery sherds from the Mamluk period, among them glazed bowls (Fig. 3:4, 10–12) and frit bowls (Fig. 3:8, 9, 13).
In Sq 2, a pottery sherd of an Abbasid-period flask (Fig. 3:31) was discovered in topsoil. Below topsoil were four soil accumulations, one above the other. The three upper accumulations (L102, L107, L109) contained pottery sherds dating to the Mamluk period, including a plain bowl (Fig. 3:5), a glazed bowl (Fig. 3:6), a green glazed Sgrafitto bowl (Fig. 3:14), a light-yellow glazed bowl (Fig. 3:15), fragments of a krater (Fig. 3:21), a cooking pot handle (Fig. 3:23), a fragment of a red-slipped jug decorated with a geometric pattern (Fig. 3:30) and two other jugs (Fig. 3:27, 28), one of which (28) is decorated with punctated decoration. The lowest accumulation (L110) contained a splash-glaze bowl dating to the Abbasid period (Fig. 3:16), a sgrafitto bowl from the Fatimid period (Fig. 3:17) and the base of a yellow glazed bowl (Fig. 3:7) and a chamber pot (Fig. 3:22), both from the Mamluk period.