Before resuming the excavations in 2007, modern buildings situated close to Yefet Street were dismantled. The 1995 excavation grid was reinstated and the refill that covered the old squares was manually removed. The area was subdivided again, this time using Roman letters, into Area EI (square rows 23–27) and Area EII (square rows 17–22; Fig. 1). More than 60 squares were excavated and the following description gives the preliminary excavation results according to the general stratigraphy in its local field setting (Table 2).
Table 2. Stratigraphy of Area E (2007 season)
Stratum Period Dates Phase Remarks
0 Modern Post 1947    
I Mandatory 1917-1947 CE    
II Ottoman 1517-1917 CE 2 Late phase: architecture
1 Early phase: argriculture
III Mamluk 1250-1517 CE   Tombs only
IV Crusader 1099-1250 CE 2 Thirteenth century Ce
Early Islamic
638-1099 CE    
VI Byzantine 324-638 CE    
VII Roman 63 BCE-324 CE 2 Settlement remains identified only during the 2007 season
1. Tombs only
VIII Hellenistic 332-363 BCE    
IX Persian 586-332 BCE   Stratum identified in the 2007 season only
X Iron Age 1200-586 BCE   Pottery only
XI Late Bronze Age 1530-1200 BCE   Pottery only
The Late Bronze and Iron Ages
Contrary to the results of the 1996 season, no tombs or architectural finds from these periods were discovered. Yet, a limited amount of Iron Age pottery was found during the excavations and it seems that the area excavated in this season was not occupied during these periods. It should be stressed that in both neighboring areas, D and B, excavated in 1995, as well as in recent excavations in neighboring streets (Permit Nos. A-4675 in 2005; A-5463 in 2008), architectural layers of Iron II were identified (Y. Arbel and O. Segal, pers. comm.).
The Persian Period (Stratum IX)
Although large quantities of Persian pottery had been found in previous excavations of the Ganor Compound, architectural remains that could be associated with a Persian-period phase were exposed only during the current season. Remains of a massive building, whose foundations penetrated into kurkar bedrock, were found in Sqs KL/20, 21. Little can be said about its function, due to the limited area of exposure, yet the massive walls suggest a public capacity.
The Hellenistic Period (Stratum VIII)
A layer dating to this period was identified; pottery was recovered from all the excavated squares, but architecture was preserved only in the southern part. It seems that later construction, particularly during the Byzantine period, seriously damaged earlier architectural remains in this area. Narrow walls built of fieldstones showed the same characteristics, as seen in previous excavations, pointing to domestic architecture. A destruction layer marked the end of this occupation. Future analysis of the finds will hopefully assist in dating this layer and link it to particular historical events that occurred in Jaffa at this period.
The Roman Period (Stratum VII)
The construction of Caesarea’s port and the growth of Apollonia-Arsuf coincided with a settlement crisis at Jaffa. It seems that the excavated area was no longer settled but used as a cemetery, as several tombs indicated. Since these tombs had cut into earlier layers and were covered by later layers, their stratigraphic position was clear.
Most were cist tombs of different sizes, but simple pit burials and a sarcophagus burial were found as well. The finds in the tombs included pottery and glass vessels that dated to an early phase of the Roman period.
The use of the area as a burial ground in this period was evidenced in former excavations, yet it became clear in this season that the re-occupation of the area as a domestic quarter had begun in the Roman period. A layer of architectural remains, which could be dated by pottery found on floors to the third or early fourth centuries CE (Stratum VIIB), was excavated.
The Byzantine Period (Stratum VI)
An intensive occupational layer that featured mosaic floors and dated to the Byzantine period was excavated in 1996. Additional excavations in the vicinity produced remains of public activities, namely a bathhouse in Area H and industrial activities, i.e., winepresses in the Flea-Market area.
The mosaic floors in the area were completely excavated, conserved and removed during this season. The process revealed that the floors belonged to a public building, whose walls had been robbed. The robber trenches enabled a reconstruction of a three-winged basilica-type building whose central room had an apse. Since the building was oriented east–west and contained numerous fragments of marble architectural elements, its interpretation as a church seems plausible. Opposite the building were the remains of a plastered courtyard whose limits remained uncertain. The marble architectural elements scattered in the area included stone vessels, column bases and capitals together with a large quantity of roof tiles. A limekiln dating to the Crusader period offered another explanation for the presence of marble elements in the excavation. Jaffa lies in a region of kurkar sandstone, which is unsuitable for plaster production, whereas the marble elements were a viable raw material for producing lime, as known at other sites, such as Caesarea. Unlike the bathhouse and the winepresses mentioned above, it seems that the building went out of use soon after the end of the Byzantine period, as indicated by several wall fragments and installations dating to the following period.
The Early Islamic Period (Stratum V)
The Umayyad and Abbasid periods were heavily represented in the ceramics, coins, glass vessels, bone tools and other small finds recovered from the Ganor Compound. The architectural remains, however, were very badly preserved and consisted mostly of parts of installations that had been located below the floor levels of their buildings, which could not be identified. In all likelihood, this situation was the result of leveling activities undertaken at the beginning of the Crusader period.
The Crusader Period (Stratum IV)
Crusader remains were discovered in every excavated square and at least two phases were discerned in the architectural record, although the ceramic evidence suggested an uninterrupted occupation until the end of the period. The architectural remains show a high degree of urban planning, although in many cases only the robber trenches or the lowest foundation courses of walls were found. It was further noted by the absolute floor elevations that several terraces were established to accommodate the natural slope, which descended from southeast to northeast, prior to the construction of the buildings. No specific function could be determined for the buildings, but the width of the foundations and the size of some buildings indicate monumental architecture of public nature that most probably was more than one story high. This impression differed from the one that emerged from earlier excavations at the site, whereby most of the architecture probably belonged to domestic complexes, as also indicated by the ceramics.
The Mamluk Period (Stratum III)
Following the Mamluk destruction of Jaffa, the excavated area was abandoned. The Crusader-period remains were found covered by an almost sterile layer of sand. The field geological analysis determined that these sands accumulated naturally over a long period of time, due to the abandonment of the area. However, it seems that the area was used sporadically as a burial ground and possibly as a garbage dump, since it was located outside of what was then the small settlement of Jaffa. A similar situation was observed in the Flea-Market excavation.