During September–October 2006, a salvage excavation was conducted at 3 Yehoshu‘a Ben-Nun Street in Ramla (Permit No. A-4914; map ref. NIG 187657–78/648015–40; OIG 137657–78/148015–40), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by H. Danaf, was directed by E. Kogan-Zehavi, with the assistance of E. Bachar (administration), A. Hajian (surveying), A. Dagot (GPS), R. Lupu (preliminary probes), L. Belashov (drafting), N. Katsnelston (glass) and C. Hersch (pottery and glass drawing).
The excavation was carried out in the western part of a lot (c. 300 sq m; Fig. 1). A single square (c. 3 × 6 m) was opened, revealing the remains of three floors and a drainage system of a building from the Abbasid and Fatimid periods.
Phase I. A white lime floor, in which a ceramic pipe was incorporated, was exposed in the eastern end of the square (L108; Pipe C; Fig. 2). The pipe extended from north to south and emptied into a drainage pit, built of rectangular ashlar stones and located at the southern end of the square (Fig. 3). Due to safety constraints and time limitations the pit was not excavated and only its square opening was exposed. Potsherds overlaying the floor included bowls (Fig. 4:1, 2), a krater (Fig. 4:3), jugs (Fig. 4:4, 5) and a complete juglet (Fig. 4:6), all dating to the Abbasid period.
Phase II. A gray plaster floor (L106) was laid above the first phase. Part of the floor was exposed on the western side of the area. A ceramic pipe (Pipe B) that ran from northwest to southeast and emptied into the drainage pit was incorporated into the floor, which was overlain with pottery vessels, including a bowl (Fig. 4:7), jugs (Fig. 4:9, 10) and a glass lamp and beaker (Fig. 4:11, 12), all from the Abbasid period.
A thin wall (W1; thickness c. 0.1 m), oriented northeast–southwest, was exposed in the western side of the square. It was built of small stones and coated with gray plaster. Gray plaster floors (Loci 113, 114) abutted both sides of the top of the wall from the north and south. The meager amount of ceramic finds found on Floor 113 included a bowl (Fig. 4:8) that dated to the beginning of the Abbasid period. This was probably part of an installation, maybe the drainage system that was discovered in the southern part of the square. Floors 114 and 106 may have been connected, although the limited excavation precluded confirmation.
Phase III. Overlaying the Phase 2 remains was a floor that had a bedding of small stones, bonding material and a layer of white plaster (Loci 101, 102). A stone pavement, survived by a single fragment in situ, was laid on top of the white plaster. A pipe that consisted of ceramic sections (Pipe C), which emptied into the drainage pit, was incorporated into the bedding of the floor, along a route identical to Pipe B. The finds on the floor and in the bedding included bowls (Fig. 4:13–15), a krater (Fig. 4:16) and a jar (Fig. 4:17), all dating to the Fatimid period.