Two other excavations were carried out along the street (for excavations between Jerusalem Boulevard and Tel Yafo, see HA-ESI 122: Fig. 1). One excavation was conducted along the western lane of the boulevard, between Razi’el and Marzuk and ‘Azar Streets, and in the eastern part of Razi’el Street (Fig. 1:1, 2); remains of walls and floors from the Hellenistic period were discovered, as well as foundations of a building, drainage systems, cesspits, floors and a road from the Late Ottoman period. The second excavation was carried out along the eastbound lane of the boulevard, between Yehuda Ha-Yammit and Shelomo streets (Fig. 1: 3 [A-C]; HA-ESI 123), remains of walls dating to the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods and remains of the boulevard from the Late Ottoman period and of the drainage channel that ran the length of it were exposed. The current excavation was undertaken c. 100 m north of these remains, and have therefore been designated a continuation of the southern excavation (Area D); the excavation squares were numbered from south to north (D1–D37; Fig. 1). The 37 squares were divided into three sequences (a total of 23 squares; D1–D15, D27–D28 and D32–D37), in which fill that served as a roadbed for the British street was discovered beneath the modern road. Remains of walls, floors and drainage channels from the Late Ottoman period were exposed beneath the fill, as well as potsherds from the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods; a preliminary examination of the spaces between the sequences did not reveal any remains.
Squares D1-D15 (Figs. 2, 3). A drainage channel (width 0.4 m, depth 0.4 m) was exposed for a distance of 96 m. It dated to the Late Ottoman period and was the continuation of the channel that had been exposed in the southern excavation (Fig. 1: 2). The channel was partially preserved north of Square D15 and c. 25 m further north only the eastern side of the channel was discerned beneath the sidewalk. The well-preserved sides of the channel (W20, W21) were built of finely dressed medium and large kurkar stones (0.14 × 0.24 × 0.25 m) and grayish white mortar mixed with white inclusions and crushed shells. The bottom of the channel (L220) was built of roughly hewn medium-sized kurkar stones (0.16 × 0.18 × 0.28 m) with a smooth upper side; they were set in place without mortar (Fig. 4). A probe excavated west of the drainage channel revealed that the channel was founded on clay soil. The covering of the channel was not preserved. Two layers of white and black floor tiles (0.15 × 0.20 m, depth 3 cm) were exposed in the eastern section of Square D12; part of the channel was most likely covered with these tiles.
Medium and large kurkar stones (0.15 × 0.24 × 0.44 m) were discovered in Squares D1–D8; the stones had been placed deliberately inside the channel (L281; Fig. 5), probably to block it prior to repaving the road at the time of the British Mandate. Based on the channel’s method of construction and the ceramic finds that included clay pipes, it should be dated to the Late Ottoman period. The length of the channel and the quality of its construction reflect the organization and planning skills of an administration, lending further evidence to the power of the Ottoman government in the city of Yafo.
Squares D27–D28 (Fig. 6). The foundations of two parallel walls, oriented northeast-southwest and preserved four and nine courses high, were discovered (W30—length 4.2 m, width 0.57 m, height 0.6 m; W32—length 4.3 m, width 0.50–0.72 m, height 1.2 m). The walls were built of kurkar stones bonded with grayish white mortar mixed with crushed shells; Wall 30 was built of medium-sized stones (0.18 × 0.20 × 0.30 m) and Wall 32 of small and medium stones (0.08 × 0.16 × 0.16 m). The two walls were damaged in their center due to the installation of the modern infrastructure.It seems that the two walls, founded on clay soil (L261, L275), were part of a single building. The construction style and the ceramic finds collected alongside the walls and beneath them indicate that they dated to the Late Ottoman period. The massive construction reflects the large size of the structure, perhaps one of the well-houses that had been built in this region.
Sections of two other poorly preserved walls were exposed in these squares. An east–west oriented wall stump (W29; length 1.33 m, width 0.55 m, height 0.1 m), preserved a single course high and built of roughly hewn stones (0.10 × 0.27 × 0.29 m), was exposed in the southwestern corner of the excavation area. The eastern end of the wall was damaged when the modern infrastructure was installed. Another wall (W31; length 2 m, width 0.30–0.43 m, height 0.15 m), aligned north–south, was discovered c. 1 m north of W30. All that survived of W31 was a single course of debesh or cast construction of roughly hewn stones and white mortar mixed with crushed shells. The two walls, which were founded on clay, did not join up to form a clear architectural plan. However, based on their construction style and the ceramic artifacts found near them, it is possible to date them to the Late Ottoman period.
Squares D32–D37(Figs. 7, 8). Foundations of two parallel walls, probably the remains of a channel generally oriented north–south, were discovered, as well as sections of floors. The remains of the eastern wall (W28; total length 20.45 m, width 0.5 m, height 0.45 m) included two long sections that were preserved two–four courses high; the northern section curved to the west, toward Razi’el Street (Butrus Street in the Ottoman period). The remains of the western wall, c. 1 m distant from the eastern one, included three shorter segments (W26; total length 15.35 m, width 0.4–0.5 m, height 0.5–0.8 m) that survived three–eight courses high. The walls, damaged when modern infrastructure was installed, were built of small and medium-sized roughly hewn kurkar stones (0.10 × 0.14 × 0.16 m, 0.20 × 0.28 × 0.30 m respectively) bonded with hamra mixed with a small amount of lime inclusions. A thick layer (1.3 m) of clay soil with marks of gley, nazaz and manganese was exposed in probes excavated northeast of W28 (L273) and on both sides of W26 (L247, L262, L263, L270, L274); these marks are characteristic of marshy regions or semi-wetlands, upon which the two walls were founded.
Although no floor that connected to the walls was found, it seems that their similar construction method and identical axis indicate that these were the sides of a channel, which was designed to convey or drain a large amount of water. Drainage channels built in a similar manner and dated to the Ottoman period or the time of the British Mandate were discovered in the Shu‘afat neighborhood in Jerusalem (Permit No. A-4965). At any rate, it is difficult to determine with certainty the function of the channel. While it is possible it was part of the drainage channels’ system that extended along the streets in the region, it seems that the channel was designed to drain the seasonal marsh water (el-bassa), which accumulated every winter east of the boulevard in the area of todays Bloomfield Stadium, to the sea. According to historical sources, the swamp constituted a health hazard because of the malaria-infected mosquitoes that bred in it and following the rains in the winter of 1893, the residents attempted to drain the swamp by means of a channel that led to the northwest, toward the sea, near the Salame and Sakanat Rashid neighborhoods. The course of the channel, which corresponds to the maps of the period, the massive foundations and marshy ground upon which it was built support this supposition. In addition, a distinct difference is noted between this channel and the drainage channel that was discovered in Squares D1–D15, as well as between it and a narrow and covered drainage channel from the Late Ottoman period that was exposed on Ha-Zorfim Street, c. 600 m to the southwest
A small covered channel (L236; length 0.9 m, width 0.7 m, depth 0.35 m; Fig. 9) abutted the western side of the upper course that survived of W26. Its sides were built of small kurkar stones, bonded with hamra mixed with white grit and crushed shells. The bottom of the channel and its sides were coated with grayish white plaster and it was covered with large kurkar stones (0.28 × 0.46 m, height 0.26 m). It seems that this channel, which is dated to the Late Ottoman period based on its construction method and the pottery recovered from it, conveyed waste water from a residential building, exposed to the west of the boulevard (Fig. 1:1), to the drainage channel.
Two sections of grayish white plaster floors that contained lime inclusions and crushed shells were exposed above the remains of the drainage channel in Sq D33 (L240; 0.27 × 3.60 m, thickness 0.13 m) and in the northern balk of Sq D37 (L239). It seems that the floor sections belonged to one complex; it is possible that they were related to the remains of the boulevard, which was paved in the Late Ottoman period and whose remains were exposed in the westbound lane of Jerusalem Boulevard (Fig. 1:1).
Finds. The ceramic finds included body fragments of vessels from the Hellenistic, Byzantine and Ottoman periods. The potsherds from the Hellenistic period, including a red-slipped bowl (Fig. 10:1), and those from the Byzantine period, including a bowl (Fig. 10:2) and an amphora (Fig. 10:3), were found in the clay soil on which the channels and architectural remains of the Ottoman period were founded. It seems that they originated in the alluvium, probably from adjacent areas where architectural remains from these periods were found, for example, the excavation conducted further south along the boulevard (HA-ESI 123). The ceramic finds from the accumulations above, below and next to the architectural remains were ascribed to the Ottoman period and included plain bowls (Fig. 10:4, 5), glazed bowls (Fig. 10:6–9), porcelain bowls (Fig. 10:10), Gaza-ware jars (Fig. 10:11) and clay smoking pipes (Fig. 10:12, 13).
Seven coins were recovered from the excavation, of which four were identified: a coin from the beginning of Byzantine rule (335–341 CE; IAA 122212) that was found in the alluvium north of Wall 32 (L276; Square D28); two coins from the beginning of the Abbasid period (late eighth century–early ninth century CE; IAA 122213, 122214) that were found together in the clay soil south of Wall 32 (L245; Square 28); and a 20 para coin dating to the reign of the Ottoman sultan Abed al-Majid (1255–1277 HA; 1839–1861 CE) that was found alongside the foundation of Wall 28 (L273; Square D37).
Fragments of glass vessels were found throughout the excavation area and included serving dishes and tableware (plates, bowls, serving bowls and coffee cups, some of which may be porcelain), as well as perfume and beverage bottles, all dating to the Late Ottoman period. One bottle carried a three-line English inscription – DAVID KIPNIS / JAFFA / PALESTINE – indicating it was manufactured in the Gazos factory owned by David Kipnis, which operated at the beginning of the twentieth century CE in one of the alleys near the khan (Raab E. 1983. A Destroyed Garden. Tel Aviv, p. 91 [Hebrew]). Another bottle, which bore a four-line English inscription – BARNETT & FOSTER / MAKERS / LONDON / 65433 – is also from the beginning of the twentieth century CE and came from London. A bone artifact with carved spiral stripes (hair pin? Fig. 10:14) was discovered between Walls 29 and 30 and should probably be dated also to the Ottoman period.
The excavation finds join those from nearby excavations and historical evidence, which together form a clearer picture of the urban architectural development in Yafo of the Late Ottoman period. During this period, activity was renewed along the fringes of the city; new neighborhoods were established north and south of the tell, plantations flourished to the east of it and at the same time the Ottoman government promoted large building projects with the aim of developing the city, including the construction of the boulevard.