During October–November 2002, a salvage excavation was conducted on Tet-Zayin Street in Zefat (Permit No. A-3762*; map ref. NIG 24657/76316; OIG 19657/26316), in the wake of installing pipes. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Administration for the Development of Infrastructure and Tourism in Zefat, was directed by E. Damati (photography), assisted by A. Shapiro (surveying).
Four courses of a wall (W101; Fig. 1) were discovered in a section of the street, next to the Mamluk mausoleum from the fourteenth century CE (Zawiyat Banât Hamîd) that had been built upon bedrock to the east of W101, which bordered the bedrock from the west and separated it from the street to its west. The remains of W101, clearly visible in a picture of the mausoleum from 1880 (C.W. Wilson, 1880. Picturesque Palestine, Sinai and Egypt II. London. P. 90), were not parallel to the western wall of the mausoleum (W100) and consisted only of the western face. Two street levels paved with stones (12 × 18 cm; Fig. 2) and built one atop the other, abutted the wall. A section of a shallow drainage channel that passed down the center of the upper pavement was exposed. Ottoman potsherds (sixteenth–seventeenth centuries CE) were recovered from the bedding of the lower street level. After the sinking of the street, possibly due to an earthquake, it was repaired and repaved atop a layer of fill (c. 60 cm), which contained potsherds from the seventeenth–eighteenth centuries CE (Fig. 3).
The Turkish traveler Eveliya Çelebi,who visited Zefat in the year 1671/2 CE, mentioned an inscription that was set in the adjacent Red Mosque, which documented repairs that possibly included the first pavement of the street and were performed by the city’s governor Salih Bey. The second pavement may be ascribed to the repairs of Daher al-‘Omar, following the earthquake of 1759 CE.