Squares I, II
. A pit (Loci 110, 120; diam. 8 m, depth 1.2 m; Fig. 2) that was dug into clay soil was exposed. It contained debris of a pottery workshop that consisted of a large quantity of deformed vessel fragments and potsherds that dated to the first century CE (Fig. 3), including a jug (Fig. 4:3), baggy-shaped jars (Fig. 4:4, 6), a cooking pot (Fig. 4:8) and a lid (Fig. 4:10), as well as a small bronze coin that dated to the time of the Roman procurator Valerius Gratus (15–24 CE; IAA No. 108867).
Outside the pit, fragments of more pottery vessels from the Roman period were found, including a jug (Fig. 4:2), a baggy-shaped jar (Fig. 4:5) and a coin of the Roman procurator Antonius Felix (54 CE; IAA No. 108868).
Square III (Fig. 2). A meager wall (W10), built of two rows of medium-sized fieldstones, was discovered in the southwestern corner of the square. All that survived of the north–south oriented wall was one course (length 1.4 m, width 0.3 m). In the northeastern corner of the square was a concentration of broken pottery vessels that dated to the Roman period (L112) and included a juglet (Fig. 4:1) and a few potsherds of Gaza jars (Fig. 4:9) from the Byzantine period.
Square IV. A layer of stone collapse and potsherds, which dated to the Roman period and included an amphora (Fig. 4:7) and fragments of glass vessels (Figs. 5, 6; see Katsnelson below), was discovered in the northern part of the square.
Square V. A half square that had some stone collapse in its center was excavated.
Square VI. Stone collapse was discovered c. 100 m east of Squares I–V.
The Glass Vessels
Twenty-three glass fragments were discovered. A single fragment came from Square I, L110 and belongs to the most common type of cast ribbed bowls that are dated to the late first century BCE–early first century CE (not illustrated). The other 22 fragments that belong to free-blown vessels were found in Square IV (Fig. 5). At least three of the vessel types could be restored, while the other surviving fragments were too small to be identified. The vessels include a bowl (Fig. 6:1) and two bottles (Fig. 6:2, 3) made of similar greenish-blue glass. Some of the fragments were quite deformed by fire. The deformed fragments of the bowl in Fig. 6:1 include a low hollow ring-base and a rim that is decorated with two crimped-trails. Similar bowls were widespread throughout the country at the end of the first–early second centuries CE. They are often found in assemblages from the Bar-Kokhba period in Judea, e.g., in Jerusalem and in the Judean Desert, e.g., the Cave of Horror and the Cave of Letters. Bowls adorned with crimped-trails are also known from the north of the country, e.g., from the Hellenistic–Roman cemetery at Berit Ahim (north of ‘Akko) and from Roman tombs at Horbat Castra and Samaria. The bowl from Nir Gallim is one of the rare examples from the southern coastal plain. The deformed fragment in Fig. 6:2 represents a typical rim of a bottle or jug used for storage or shipping (small fragments of a short ribbed handle that could not be restored were found). The rim flares out, down and up, forming a collar. A cylindrical jug with a similar rim, short ribbed handle and grooved body was found in the Cave of Letters. The funnel mouth of the bottle in Fig. 6:3 is atypical; therefore, the fragment may probably be attributed to the Early Roman period.
The group of glass vessels from Nir Gallim is small but interesting. They belong to an assemblage from an industrial pit that is dated to the years 11–65 CE, or slightly later, based on the coins. The deformity of the vessels, a result of high temperature, like that which occurred to the pottery vessels, could have been from destruction or it may be a sign of a glass workshop that was located nearby; nevertheless, the glass vessels from the site are too few in number to propose any hypothesis.