The installations were built on a floor (L105) made of medium-sized, roughly hewn stones; the floor abutted the room’s south wall (W111).
Installation 101 was rectangular. Most of it was destroyed prior to the excavation. Its only surviving trace was plaster on a pillar (L114; Fig. 4, next to measuring rod).
Installation 103 was circular. Only a few plaster fragments on the bedding of Floor 105 and on the north face of W111 were preserved.
Installation 104 was oval in shape. Two phases were identified: a plastered wall and a floor (L121; Fig. 5) were associated with the first phase; in the later phase, the installation’s floor was raised, and a second plaster floor was installed over a fill of large, roughly hewn stones and bonding material. The floor was badly damaged after the inspection and could not be documented. The floor of Installation 104 was apparently raised when Installations 101 and 103 were built.
Installation 117 was irregularly shaped, and only traces of plaster on a pillar (L115; Fig. 6) and at the bottom of the installation were preserved.
Shaft. A rectangular shaft was delineated on three sides by walls (W106, W108, W109; Fig. 6) built of two courses of bricks; the tops of the walls were recently covered with concrete. On the north, the shaft was delimited by a circular wall (W107); for most of its course it was covered with modern flooring, and hence could not be documented during the excavation. A fill of gray soil (L102, L118) containing Ottoman-period pottery and animal bones was found inside the shaft. The fill was probably composed of refuse that was thrown into the shaft when the installations were in use. Beneath the gray fill, which is deeper than the foundations of W108 and W109, a floor made of tamped crushed chalk was revealed (L120). On the floor were remains of a thin layer of brown soil that contained animal bones and pottery fragments, most of which are non-diagnostic (L119; Fig. 7)—the remains of a habitation level. After Floor 120 was dismantled, an additional fill of gray soil (L123) was uncovered; it covered the remains of a wall (W126) and sealed a white floor bedding that contained black and white gravel (L127; Fig. 8). Among the potsherds found in Fill 123 was a jug possibly from the Ottoman period (Fig. 11:5). Wall 126 was constructed of large, flat stones resembling pavers, and it continued beneath W109 (Fig. 8). Neither the wall nor the bedding could be dated.
Wall 110 (Fig. 4) was rounded and built of large, dressed stones. As pipes were recently installed through the wall and it was concreted over, the stratigraphic relation between it and Floor 105 could not be determined. Based on the plan prepared during the inspection and the final plan, the wall probably joins W107 and is contemporary with the shaft.
Cistern (3.0 × 3.2 m, visible depth 2 m). During the renovation work, a barrel vault (L112) that roofed the building’s cistern was discovered. The cistern was not excavated because of safety considerations, but the vault stones and the north wall of the installation (W124) were cleaned and documented (Figs. 4, 9).
Installation 125. A circular installation (L125; Fig. 10) made of a well-dressed limestone block was discovered near the entrance to the building. The installation had a flat floor, and its outer wall seems to have been vertical. A round hole on its west side drained liquids to an unknown destination in a room to the west. The installation was probably used in some type of industrial process that took place in the building at a late stage.
Most of the ceramic assemblage recovered in the excavation came from contaminated loci. A few diagnostic fragments were recovered from the upper level of W110 (L102 and L118), and they date mostly from the Middle Ages and later. A handful of diagnostic finds from these periods was found in Habitation Level 119. Several fragments from the Roman and Early Islamic periods were also found (not drawn).
The identified vessels included a simple bowl with a rounded, inverted rim (Fig. 11:1); a cooking pot with a ridged neck and traces of reddish brown glaze on the interior and on the rim (Fig. 11:2); a handle of a typical Mamluk or Ottoman handmade cooking pot (Fig. 11:3; Avissar and Stern 2005:95, Fig. 40:4); a Gaza Ware zir jar from the Ottoman period (Fig. 11:4); a jug made of orange clay, with a triangular rim and an upright neck possibly from the Ottoman period (Fig. 11:5; Avissar 2012:329, Pl. 10.7.3); a jug or flask from the Ottoman period (Fig. 11:6); and a fragment of a roof tile (Fig. 11:8)
with a heart-shaped decoration that was probably manufactured in the Roux Frères factory in Marseilles and is similar to a tile fragment found in the Qirya in Tel Aviv, where it was dated to the Mandatory period (Rauchberger 2014: Fig. 7). Prior to the excavation, fragments of a basalt millstone (0.04 × 0.19 × 0.20 m; Fig. 12) were found ex situ. A similar millstone was discovered at the Nes Ziyyona commercial center, where it was dated to the late Ottoman period (Golan 2016: Fig. 12).
The excavation identified remains from three phases. The two earlier phases were uncovered only within the shaft and cannot be accurately dated, although they are probably no earlier than the Middle Ages. In the last and main phase, during the Ottoman period, the building had an industrial function and contained plastered installations, a stone installation and a water reservoir. The millstone may have originally stood where the shaft was; the curve of W109 may have delimited an installation such as a millstone. The data may suggest that the structure housed a mill for grinding sesame seeds or flour. According to Warren (1876:491–492), the Old City had in the nineteenth century 21 flour millers in (three Jews and 18 Muslims) and 32 sesame-seed millers (three Greek Orthodox and 29 Muslims). One of the mills he recorded may have been located in the current excavation area.