Strata IX and X. Floors and pottery dating to Iron II were found 4.5 m below current surface in a small trial trench (Sq C4). Unfortunately, it was impossible to enlarge the excavated area due to safety problems. The discovery of such an early layer in this area raised questions about the size of Yafo in this period, which seems to have been larger than previously thought. Persian-period pottery was found in a layer that covered this stratum and in subsequent layers, indicating a presence in this area during the Persian period as well.
Stratum VIII. Pottery dating to the Hellenistic period was found in large amounts at various locations of the excavated area. However, only the final pottery analysis will show if a Hellenistic layer can be defined.
Stratum VII. At least two locations of the excavated area yielded stone formations that postdated the Hellenistic and earlier layers but predated the remains of Stratum VI. Due to restrictions imposed by the Ministry of Religious Affairs an excavation of these structures, presumably tombs, was impossible. Yet, it should be mentioned that in an unpublished excavation by J. Kaplan, tombs dating to that period were found in an area north of the Clock-Tower square.
Stratum VI. Large amounts of pottery dating to the Byzantine period were unearthed in Areas I and II. These could not be associated with any specific architectural elements, but point to activities in this period.
. Remains dating to the Early Islamic period were found in all excavated areas. Parts of a structure in Area I were built in the terre-pisée
technique, which is known from earlier excavations in the flea-market area (HA-ESI 118
) and the Ganor compound (ESI
20:47*–49*). Although the plan of the structure was not complete, the walls seem to belong to a massive building, similar to those discovered previously in the flea-market and Ganor excavations.
Stratum IV. This layer can be divided into two phases. During the first phase, a street was prepared, oriented roughly north–south and flanked on both sides by buildings. The street was constructed from crushed kurkar sandstones and showed various repairs. In the second phase, several walls in and around the buildings were repaired or modified. The initial analysis of pottery finds indicates that the first phase can be attributed to the twelfth century CE and the second, to the thirteenth century CE.
Stratum III. Activities dating to the Mamluk period were restricted to burials, which in many cases had cut into the Crusader remains. The burials had a uniform east–west orientation. They all consisted of single burials in stone cists, covered with stone slabs. Building stones were sometimes reused in the construction of these tombs. The deceased were laid down with their head in the west, facing south in a typical Islamic manner. Only a limited number of burials were excavated because of strong opposition by Islamic circles that brought the excavation to a halt.
The excavations confirmed the observation that settlement had been much larger in the Iron Age than previously assumed. Although little can be said about the remains dating to this period, it seems that from the Iron Age onward the area was part of a lower town that existed, with a gap in the Roman Period, until the destruction at the end of the Crusader period. When the area was not settled, it served as a burial ground. The cemetery established first in the Mamluk period subsequently moved northward with the new growth of the city, in particular after the city walls went out of use in the last third of the nineteenth century CE.