Four occupation strata (I–IV) were discovered in the excavation area (5.7 × 8.6 m; Fig. 2). A drainage channel that dated to the Mamluk period was exposed in Stratum I; a crushed chalk floor that dated to the Abbasid period (eighth–ninth centuries CE) was discovered in Stratum II; the northeastern part of a building that included a stone-paved unit and a nearby floor of small fieldstones, both dating to the Late Umayyad–Early Abbasid period (seventh–eighth centuries CE), was exposed in Stratum III; and a rock-cutting in calcareous bedrock, which cannot be dated, was exposed in Stratum IV. In addition, potsherds dating to the Byzantine and the beginning of the Early Islamic periods (sixth–seventh centuries CE) were found scattered throughout the excavation area.
On a calcareous bedrock surface descending east along the slope, a rock-hewn step (L17; 1.3 × 1.5 m, depth 1 m) that formed a broad and leveled surface was exposed (Fig. 2). The bedrock surface and the rock-cutting were covered with dark brown soil fill (L19), which contained body fragments of pottery vessels that could not be dated.
The northeastern part of a residential structure was exposed; it included a stone-paved unit (A) and probably the beginning of another unit to the south (B) and a floor bed of small fieldstones to the east (C; Figs. 2, 3).
Unit A was rectangular and three of its walls (W2, W9, W15) were exposed. Walls 2 and 15 were the exterior walls of the unit and the building. Wall 9 was an internal partition wall that separated Units A and B. The walls, built of nari ashlars (0.35 × 0.45 × 0.55 m) with small fieldstones between them, were founded on the calcareous bedrock surface and the rock-cutting (L17) of Stratum IV, in accordance with the topography of the slope (Fig. 2: Sections 1-1, 2-2). The northern W2 (length 2.6 m, width 0.55 m), preserved four courses high, formed a corner with the eastern end of W15 and its western end continued beyond the limits of the excavation. The eastern wall (W15; length 3.7 m, width 0.55 m) was preserved three courses high and its southern end also extended beyond the boundaries of the excavation. The inner faces of both walls were lined with small fieldstones (Fig. 3). The southern wall (W9; length 2.6 m, width 0.5 m), preserved a single course high, was parallel to and 2.7 m distant from W2; its eastern end abutted W15 and it continued in the west beyond the boundaries of the excavation.
The floor of the room (L14), which was composed of medium-sized flat stones (0.15 × 0.15 × 0.20 m), had settled in its center. The floor was founded on soil fill (L19) and adjoined the calcareous bedrock surface along its sides (Fig. 4). Three architectural elements were found on the floor: a column base that was probably in situ (diam. 0.38 m, height 0.3 m; Fig. 5:1) and a column drum (diam. 0.38 m, height 0.4 m), both made of nari, which probably belonged to the same column, as well as another, smaller column base of limestone (diam. 0.17 m, height 0.1 m; Fig. 5:2) that had a slot on its two opposite sides. It seems that it was originally used for a chancel post and in this building it was in secondary use. Other stone finds included the bottom part of a basalt potter’s wheel (Fig. 5:3) and a basalt grindstone (Fig. 5:4).
The majority of the potsherds discovered on the floor were cooking vessels, such as open cooking pans (casseroles; Fig. 6:1, 2), closed cooking pots without a neck (Fig. 6:3–5), a cooking pot with a tall neck and two handles (Fig. 6:6), a jar (Fig. 6:7) and a jug of buff ware (Fig. 6:8). Other fragments of jars were discovered in the dismantling of the stone pavement, including the jar that was found on the floor (Fig. 6:7) and body fragments of jars with white decoration.
A floor foundation of small fieldstones (L18; Fig. 7), which apparently belonged to an open courtyard outside the building (C), was exposed east of W15. Remains of this floor (L17.1; Fig. 2: Section 1–1) were also discovered beyond the northern corner (Walls 2 and 15) and when that was dismantled, krater fragments of gray clay (Fig. 6:9, 10), jar fragments with white decoration and potsherds of vessels decorated in red (Fig. 6:11–13), were found.
Based on the architectural elements above Stone Floor 14, it is assumed that Unit A was roofed and its ceiling was borne atop columns. The stone elements and pottery vessels are indicative of activity associated with the household that existed in the Late Umayyad–Early Abbasid periods (seventh–eighth centuries CE).
Although no destruction layer was discerned in the building, activity in it seems to have ceased
at some point in time and a layer of light colored soil mixed with limestone (L7, L13; Fig. 8) accumulated on its floor and outside. The walls of the building had eventually toppled down and stone collapse (L6) was piled up to its north and east.
A floor of crushed chalk and small fieldstones (L5; Fig. 2: Section 1-1) was exposed. The floor was discovered north of the building in Stratum III. It was set above a layer of light colored soil and limestone fragments (L7) and above stone collapse (L6), abutting W2 (Fig. 8). It appears that when Floor 5 was installed, the Stratum III building was still standing in the area and inside it friable gray soil (L11) had accumulated. The pottery above Floor 5 and in the accumulated soil (L11) was similar to that found in Stratum III and fragments of glazed bowls were also found, including a green and yellow glazed bowl decorated with a brown line (Fig. 6:14), two luster ware type bowls of light colored clay and glazed turquoise (Fig. 6:15, 16) and a juglet of buff ware (Fig. 6:17), which are characteristic of the Abbasid period (eighth–ninth centuries CE).
A channel, aligned east–west (L4; Fig. 2: Section 1-1), was ascribed to this layer. The channel severed Floor 5 of Stratum II and Stone Collapse 6 of the building in Stratum III. It is built of nari stones in secondary use that were apparently gathered from Collapse 6. Its interior faces and floor were coated with coarse white plaster (Fig. 9). Potsherds dating to the Mamluk period were found inside the channel and in the layer of soil that covered it (L3). At some point in time, the area was abandoned and not reoccupied; as it lay at the end of the village, the area was used as a refuse dump by the modern villagers.
The finds from the current and the previous excavations point to the extent of the settlement in the Late Umayyad and the Abbasid periods (seventh–ninth centuries CE) in the northern part of Na‘ura, as well as to the rural character of this habitation.
The potsherds from the Byzantine period that were found scattered throughout the excavation area and a marble base in secondary use that was found in the building, probably indicate that the settlement had already existed in the Byzantine period (sixth–seventh centuries CE).