During April 2003, a trial excavation was conducted in the northern moat of ‘Akko (Permit No. A-3886*; map ref. NIG 20874–5/76068–70; OIG 15874–5/26068–70), after channels for laying an electrical and drainage grid were dug by mechanical equipment on both sides of the moat and several probe trenches were cut after the discovery of ancient remains. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by A. Thatcher, assisted by H. Abu-‘Uqsa and A. Shapiro (surveying).
Two small areas were opened along the line of the drainage and electric channels, revealing two main periods, the Hellenistic (second–first centuries BCE) and the Crusader (thirteenth century CE).
A poor wall section (W9; length 1 m, width 0.7 m), built of dry construction that used medium-sized fieldstones, was discovered in the area near the northern wall of the moat, as well as remains of a quarry from the Hellenistic period and a large ‘refuse’ dump from the same period, which contained dozens of pottery vessels that were damaged over their course of use and therefore discarded. The ceramic finds comprised cooking, storage and serving vessels, including imported amphorae.
Remains of a wall (W8) were uncovered in the area near the southern wall of the moat. These included a foundation course of debesh and a small section of the first course, survived by six masonry stones. Various potsherds, ranging in date from the Hellenistic until the Mamluk periods, as well as a few medium-sized cannonballs from the Ottoman period (eighteenth–nineteenth centuries CE), were collected near the wall.