During September 2000 an excavation was conducted in the northern industrial zone of Lod (A-3299
*; map ref. NIG 19055/65227; OIG 14055/15227), prior to construction. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by Y. Arbel, with the assistance of I. Rahamim (administration), V. Essman and V. Pirsky (surveying and drafting) and T. Sagiv (photography).
Prior to the excavation, trenches dug by mechanical equipment exposed building remains and ceramic finds. Most of the finds dated to the Byzantine and Early Arab periods; the rest—to Middle Bronze Age II and Iron Age. Four squares (1–4) were opened in the excavation, revealing the remains of a hearth and a stone building, as well as mostly worn potsherds that were difficult to date and probably originated in the soil fills that were brought to the site from elsewhere.
Squares 1 and 2, located in the northern part of the site, contained mixed concentrations of worn potsherds from the Iron Age, Hellenistic, Byzantine and Early Islamic periods, at a depth of 1.5–1.8 m below surface.
Square 3, c. 15 m east of Sqs 1 and 2, consisted of a thin layer of ash and a circular hearth in its center, built of small stones (diam. 0.3 m) c. 1.8 m below surface. The ash around the hearth was denser and deeper than that at the edges of the layer. The ceramic finds associated with the hearth included a jar fragment and fragments of other pottery vessels from the MB II. It should be noted that M. Peilstöcker excavated MB II tombs nearby, in 1998 (Permit A-2834).
Remains of a nearly square building (5.0
× 5.2 m; Fig. 1) were exposed in Sq 4, located c.
15 m south of Sqs 1 and 2. It was built of soft chalk blocks that were either roughly hewn or unworked. The walls (width 0.6 m) were preserved a maximum of three courses high (max. height 0.7 m). The inner face of the walls was coated with gray plaster. Since entrances, floors or installations were not discovered in the building it seems that the remains represent its foundations. The building’s southern wall was subsequently used as a foundation for a modern concrete structure. The ceramic finds were meager and mostly worn; a few potsherds were dated to the Byzantine, Early Islamic and Mamluk periods. The stratigraphic association of the finds is unclear and they cannot be used to date the building with certainty. The reuse of the building’s southern wall indicates that the remains protruded above surface until the middle of the 20th century, and may imply a relatively late date for the building. The absence of modern finds from the building’s foundation level precludes dating it to the modern era; it should probably be dated to the Mamluk or Ottoman periods.