During May 2010, a salvage excavation was conducted on Mazal Ariye Street in Yafo (Permit No. A-5927; map ref. 176650–84/662303–34), after wall remains and potsherds were discovered while digging a sewage infrastructure. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Emmanuel Bridal Salon, was directed by A. Dayan (field photography), with the assistance of S. Ya‘aqov-Jam and E. Bachar (administration), D. Golan (preliminary inspections), M. Kunin (surveying), H. Ben-Ari (GPS), A. Gorzalczany (guidance), N. Zak (drafting) and M. Shuiskaya (drawing). Additional assistance was provided by D. Barkan, E. Jakoel, Y. Arbel and L. Rauchberger.
A half square (3.5 × 3.5 m; Fig. 1) was opened. Modern infrastructures that had destroyed the archaeological strata were discovered in its western part, whereas two construction phases were exposed in the middle and eastern part of the square. A vault (W13; 0.8–1.0 m below surface; Fig. 2) ascribed to an early phase was revealed in the southern part of the square.
The remains attributed to the late phase (c. 0.2 m below surface) included remains of a wall (W11; see Fig. 2), a section of a floor (L12) and a cistern (L18). Wall 11 was built of roughly hewn building stones set on a foundation of small stones and mortar. The wall was preserved three courses high (Fig. 1: Section 2-2). The southern end of W11 was built on W13 and negated it. Floor 12 was paved with coarsely dressed stones and abutted the western side of W11 (see Fig. 2). A foundation trench (L16; Fig. 3) that ran along the eastern side of W11 was discovered. Based on the finds recovered from the wall, the entire second phase can be dated to the Ottoman period. East of the foundation trench, in the northeastern part of the square, a plastered Ottoman cistern (L18; Fig. 2: Section 1-1) that at some point was converted to a cesspit was exposed. The southern wall of the cistern (W15) had cut the vault ascribed to the early phase.
The ceramic artifacts recovered from the foundation trench (L16) included bowls (Fig. 4:1), glazed bowls (Fig. 4:2–4), a glazed krater (Fig. 4:5), a krater (Fig. 4:6), a cooking pot (Fig. 4:7), a cooking pot lid (Fig. 4:8), jars (Fig. 4:9, 10), a jug (Fig. 4:11), a kizan-type pipe (Fig. 4:12), a smoking pipe (Fig. 4:13) and a fragment of a glass bracelet (Fig. 4:14).
The remains of a building and a cistern that date to the Ottoman period were uncovered in the excavation, as well as an earlier vault, whose precise date is unknown. The exposed Ottoman building was most likely demolished in the 1930s during Operation Anchor, along with numerous other buildings in Yafo. The excavation adds an important tier to our understanding of the distribution of buildings in Ottoman Yafo before Operation Anchor.