Three squares (C–E) were opened in the current excavation, in the wake of removing a thick layer of modern debris that covered the site (Fig. 1). Squares D and E revealed the remains of an arched, almost square building (L220). Its walls (W10–W14), which were plastered on both interior and exterior and were preserved up to the ceiling in several places, collapsed into the room that was accessed via an entrance (width c. 1 m) on the west. Remains of a floor atop parts of W14 indicated a second story, which was probably entered higher up on the slope. The plastered stone floor in the room was only cleaned in a small probe close to the entrance (L208). To the west of the entrance was an open courtyard with a plastered stone floor, which was bordered by W15–W17. The courtyard was entered from an alley (L205), running along the northern wall of the building (W10) and the courtyard (W15). The entrance was blocked at one time and it remains uncertain whether another entrance into the building existed, or perhaps the room went out of use. The courtyard’s western wall (W16) separated it from the next unit, which was left unexcavated, except for a stub of a wall (W18). The alley (L205) was also paved with a plastered stone floor; it descended westward via four steps.


Two probes were excavated to gain more information about the date of the building, its phases and the possible earlier layers underneath. The first probe was set into the plastered stone floor of the alley (L216). Below the floor were remains of two grayish plaster layers that most probably served as earlier surfaces. A stone-constructed drainage channel (L224) was found at a depth of 0.5 m in the middle of the alley, oriented east–west. Ottoman pottery within the channel and below its collapsed covering stones indicated that the channel went out of use before the destruction of Building 220. Work was suspended at a depth of 19.54 m due to safety precautions. The second probe was dug in the entrance of Building 220. The latest beaten-earth floor of the courtyard (L207) was exposed in a small area (1.5 × 2.5 m). A stone pavement (L215) was detected at a depth of c. 0.25 m, partly covered with a grayish plaster. This floor seems to have been the original floor of the courtyard. Cleaning the eastern section of the probe showed that Building 220 was built on top of an arched foundation (Fig. 1, section 1-1), a technique known particularly from Ottoman architecture in Yafo. The fill layer below Pavement 215 consisted of brownish soil that contained Ottoman pottery and tobacco pipes. Part of a circular pit (L221) was discovered in the southeastern corner of the probe. This pit was filled with sand, bricks and potsherds, dating to the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods. The sherds had smoothed edges, indicating they had been placed in running water and only later were moved to the pit, which contained no finds that could shed light on its function. Digging below the bottom of the pit revealed a layer of brown-grayish soil (L223) that consisted of Iron Age and earlier pottery (Fig. 2: Bowls [1, 2]; a krater [3]; cooking pots [4, 5]; jars [6, 7] and a jug [8]). Due to safety precautions, the excavation was suspended at a depth of 20.05 m.

The pottery discovered below the floors of Building 220, the courtyard and the alley was dated to the late Ottoman period (Fig. 2: Jars [9, 10]; a spout [11] and a clay pipe [12]). It seems that the building was one of many constructed on narrow terraces along the slope. The sporadic appearance of Crusader pottery may hint to a much earlier beginning of this building; however, the use of arched foundations and the pottery from below the earliest floor of the building date it to the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries CE. Of utmost importance is the Iron Age pottery from L223. Although the probe was limited in size and no architectural remains were discerned, it seems that the slope was settled already in this period. The pottery assemblage implies a domestic use. The quantity of potsherds suggests an occupation layer rather than material washed down from the upper part of the tell. Together with the Iron Age layers, recently discovered during the excavations of the Armenian Monastery and in the area of the Clock Square, it seems that the extension of Jaffa toward the sea and the northwest should be reconsidered.