The remains include two building phases, probably technical, in a small section of a structure that was almost completely destroyed. A cistern (L112) and two channels (L108, L109) were installed in the first phase. The cistern had a square opening (0.46 × 0.48 m, height 0.75 m), built of two courses of rectangular kurkar stones, set on a supporting arch. The cistern’s interior (depth 2.4 m) was square and its sides were coated with light colored plaster. The two parallel channels were oriented north–south, east of the cistern. The western channel (L108; exposed length c. 1.5 m, width 0.23 m), c. 0.45 m east of the cistern, seems to have been used together with the cistern in a drainage system, although no clear connection between the two elements was discovered. The channel’s sides (thickness 0.12 m, height 0.15 m) were built of kurkar stones and its bottom was coated with white plaster; it was covered with kurkar slabs (length 0.45 m, thickness 8 cm). A rectangular kurkar stone was set at an incline at the southern end of the channel; it apparently functioned as a slide to convey the water into the channel. The eastern channel (L109; exposed length c. 2.5 m), c. 1.2 m east of Channel 108, was covered with slabs of beach rock (average dimensions 0.35 × 0.53 m, thickness 6 cm). The northern part of the channel was built of roughly hewn kurkar stones (0.25 × 0.27 m; height 0.3 m); its southern part was not examined.Signs of wear produced by the flow of water were discernable along sections of the bottom of the channel.
A stone pavement (L104) composed of limestone slabs (0.39 × 0.42 m, thickness 0.25 m) was installed in the western part of the excavation area in the second phase; it could not be determined if it was used as a courtyard or a room. The floor sealed Cistern 112 and Channel 108; however, it is reasonable to assume that it did not negate their use and both continued to drain the building.One of the paving stones (L113; 0.35 × 0.40 m) was used as a cover for a drainage system; a shallow recess (diam. 0.2 m, depth 0.12 m), in which four through-holes were drilled, was fashioned in it. Since this section of the floor was not removed, the relationship between this lid and the nearby Cistern 112 could not be ascertained. The floor was delimited by a wall (W2; length 5.7 m, width 0.6 m) on the east. Wall 2 was built of dressed kurkar stones, preserved two courses high, on top of a base that consisted of four courses of kurkar stones and was c. 0.1 m wider than the wall. Small kurkar stones (0.04 × 0.10 × 0.12 m) were placed between the courses. To the east and south, the pavement was enclosed by curbstones (0.16 × 0.42 m, thickness 0.23 m), preserved for a distance of 1.7 m. Two pillars, 2.6 m apart, were adjacent to the western side of W2: a rectangular pillar in the northern part of the pavement (L110; 1.14 × 1.75 m) and a square pillar, whose eastern part was destroyed, in its south (L114; 0.60 × 0.75 m). The use of pillars in the corners of rooms is characteristic of the Ottoman period and was meant to support vaults.South of Pavement 104 was a section of floor (L103; Fig. 2), composed of thin rectangular floor tiles and founded on a layer of white plaster. This floor extended as far as the curbstones that delimited Pavement 104. It seems that W2 formed a corner with a wall, aligned east–west (W1; length 2.8 m, width 0.35 m, thickness 0.23 m), which only survived by five courses in its eastern part. This wall, like Wall 2, was also built of dressed kurkar stones without mortar, but was severely damaged. A surface (L101; 3.9 × 5.9 m) built of fieldstones and dressed kurkar, bonded with gray plaster mixed with lime inclusions, extended south of W1 and east of Channel 109; the purpose of this surface is unclear.
Almost all of the ceramic artifacts were ascribed to the nineteenth century CE. The pottery recovered from the fill below Floor 104 (L106) included two bowls glazed on the interior and on the exterior of the rim (Fig. 3:1, 2); a geometric pattern appears on the rim of Fig. 3:2; a porcelain plate from Europe with a white exterior glaze and a blue and white inner glaze with a floral pattern (Fig. 3:6);and a jar with two handles (Fig. 3:14), decorated with a combed pattern. A fragment of a clay pipe (Fig. 4:2) and the top of a hookah (Fig. 4:4) were found next to Channel 108, below Floor 104. The pipe is red slipped and burnished. The end of its stem is swollen and decorated with a rouletted pattern and it has a narrow deep lily-shaped bowl; this type of pipe was very common to Israel in general, and Yafo in particular, during the second half of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century CE. The top of the hookah, which has an everted rim, is made of orange clay and is decorated with various plastic patterns; this type has remained the same from the middle of the nineteenth century until the modern era. Also found below Floor 104 was an iron cannonball (round shot; diam. 81 mm) that belonged to a smooth bore artillery piece, the likes of which were used by the Ottoman army in the eighteenth–nineteenth centuries CE.
A single fragment of a black Gaza ware krater with a broad ledge rim and a slightly curved side (Fig. 3:7) was discovered between the flagstones of Floor 104. A bowl fragment with a buff colored glaze on the interior and a brown painted decoration of circles and two stripes next to the rim (Fig. 3:4) was recovered from the stones in Surface 101. The accumulation above Floor 104 (L113) contained a bowl glazed on the interior with thick vertical yellow and brown stripes and an orange glaze on the exterior (Fig. 3:3); two porcelain coffee cups that were imported from Europe (Fig. 3:9, 10), one of which (Fig. 3:10) bears the likeness of a woman’s face; a green-glazed oil lamp (Fig. 3:15) and two clay pipes (Fig. 4:1, 3). The pipe in Fig. 4:1 is lily-shaped and the pipe in Fig. 4:3 is rather worn. The latter is made of gray clay slipped brown and burnished, and has a short ridged stem and spherical bowl decorated with stamped impressions, consisting of circles filled with dots. The connection between the stem and the bowl is decorated with a rouletted pattern. Similar pipes were dated to the late eighteenth century CE.
The fill that covered the remains contained a bowl glazed green on the interior and on the exterior of its indented rim (Fig. 3:5); a black Gaza ware krater (Fig. 3:8); a stone-ware chamber pot imported from Europe (Fig. 3:11); a glazed jar (Fig. 3:12) and a black Gaza ware jar (Fig. 3:13), as well as a base of a marble column and Marseilles roof tiles.
The limited excavation area and the poor state of the remains’ preservation make it difficult to reconstruct them. However, historical sources and photographs from the first half of the twentieth century show that the remains belonged to one of the residential buildings, which was destroyed in Operation Anchor, carried out by the British Mandatory government in June 1936, when dwellings were demolished and broad boulevards were built in Old Yafo (anchor shaped; Figs. 5, 6). The area where Kikar Qedumim is presently situated was located along the course of one of these roads (Fig. 7; Gavish D 1981. Putting Down the Uprising in Jaffa in the 1936 Riots. In E. Shiller, ed. Jaffa and its Sites [Qardom 15]. Jerusalem. Pp. 60–63).
This current excavation is important because it is the first time that the archaeological remains from the Late Ottoman period and the time of the British Mandate in the heart of Old Yafo have been examined. The previous excavations in Kikar Qedumim focused on exposing the ancient remains, while ignoring the later remains that had been removed without documentation (Bowman J. 1955. The University of Leeds, Department of Semitics Archaeological Expedition to Jaffa, 1952. Proceedings of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society 7/4:231–234). As a result of these past excavations, a complete historic-stratigraphic sequence of the site can not be formed.
In addition, the excavation clearly illustrates the extent of damage caused by Operation Anchor in this part of Old Yafo.