Two squares (A, B; each 5 × 5 m; Fig. 2) were excavated. Remains dating to the Byzantine period (fifth century CE) were found in Square A and two strata (I, II) were identified. A modern cesspit (L3) was found in Square B. At least two terracotta pipes that were dug in the ground (L7, L10) led to the pit, as well as a concrete pipe that was found in a channel backfilled with stones. These infrastructures and a concrete surface that was found north of the excavation are probably remains of old buildings that were constructed at the time of the British Mandate or afterward and were recently demolished for the sake of new construction.
Square A
Stratum II. A burnt layer without architectural remains was revealed in the eastern part of the square; it is unclear if it is the result of destruction or industrial activity (L9). Potsherds from the Roman period (second–third centuries CE) were found, among them cooking pots (Fig. 3:1–3), a jug rim (Fig. 3:4) and lamp fragments (Fig. 3:5, 6).
Stratum I. Two construction phases were discerned (I, II).
Phase I—Wall foundations (W4, W15; Fig. 4) were exposed. Wall 4 was revealed for a distance of 4.8 m in an east–west direction and abutted W15 from the south; the latter was exposed for a length of 1.9 m. Both walls were c. 1 m wide and constructed from two courses of medium-sized fieldstones. Wall 15 and the western part of W4 were built inside a light colored layer of soil (L2; Fig. 5) that contained potsherds dating to the Byzantine period (fifth century CE), including a cooking pot (Fig. 3:7), a lid (Fig. 3:8) and jars (Fig. 3:9, 10). The eastern part of W4 was built into a layer of gray soil mixed with burnt remains and charcoal, which was L9 of Stratum I (Fig. 6). The walls probably belonged to a building from the Byzantine period, which was partly constructed into a burnt layer that dated to the Roman period. At some point, probably after the building was no longer in use and abandoned, the eastern part of W4 was severed or dismantled, including the foundation, while the building stones in the rest of the walls were dismantled to the level of the foundations that remained in situ. The robber trench filled up with gray soil (L12; see Fig. 5) that contained potsherds, including fragments of jars from the Byzantine period (fifth century CE; Fig. 3:11–13).
Phase II—A wall (W8; length c. 2 m, width c. 0.8 m; Fig. 7) built above two foundation courses of small fieldstones. Nari ashlars and a well-dressed basalt architectural element adorned with the remains of a carved decoration were incorporated in the wall (Fig. 8). These were probably taken from ancient buildings on the tell and integrated in later construction. The western part of W8 was built upon the foundation of W4 of Phase I, while its eastern part was founded into gray soil with charcoal remains (L9 of Stratum I). It is unclear if W8 was preserved for its original length or if it is a remnant of a longer wall that was built the entire length of the W4 foundation.
On the basis of the ceramic finds, it can be concluded that there was some activity in the Roman period along the southern fringes of Tel ‘Afula. The decorated basalt stone and nari ashlars, which are characteristic of public construction, were incorporated in later walls. However, these meager finds provide insufficient data to identify the source of the destruction layer. Architectural remains are ascribed to the Byzantine period, the fifth century CE. Albeit scant, they evince the existence of a settlement at that time.