The finds from the excavation that was conducted c. 80 m east of the entrance to the palace indicate the site was occupied during to the Mamluk period and three strata were identified. Remains of meager walls and two floors of two strata were found (Fig. 2); the ceramic finds consisted of fragments of pottery vessels characteristic of the Mamluk period, including imported and glazed vessels.
In addition to the excavation (100 sq m), three main strata were identified in probes, excavated both manually and by a backhoe.
Stratum 1. A floor (L100–L102; Fig. 2) of crushed chalk, tamped earth and tesserae in bulk (Fig. 3) was discovered above sterile soil. The floor bedding and the crushed chalk contained fragments of pottery vessels, including serving ware that consisted of large bowls glazed with patches in various shades of green, yellow and blue (Fig. 4:1–3), medium glazed bowls (Fig. 4:4–6) and small glazed bowls used for dining (Fig. 4:7–9); a few glazed bowls with sgrafitto on the outside (Fig. 4:3, 5) and except for one bowl (Fig. 4:7), all those found were glazed on the inside and outside; numerous fragments of ‘sugar vessels’ that are coarse, conical and occur in different diameters (Fig. 4:10–12); several cooking vessels, including plain handmade cooking pots (Fig. 4:13, 14), and a small globular cooking pot (Fig. 4:15); a few jars, including coarse amphorae with thick rims (Fig. 4:17, 18), alongside a glazed jar (Fig. 4: 16); and a fragment of a wheel-made lamp (Fig. 4:19). The pottery vessels, mostly handmade, are delicate and glazed and the sugar vessels are fashioned from coarse fabric that is typical of the sugar industry and characteristic of the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries CE.
Stratum 2. The floor of Stratum 1 was covered with an accumulation of soil (L103) and a stone wall (W105, preserved height 0.5 m; Fig. 5) was built into it. Crushed potsherds and collapsed building stones (W110), possibly the continuation of W105, were found in the accumulation.
Stratum 3. Above the walls of Stratum 2 was a floor section (L106) of small densely arranged stream pebbles that adjoined a wall (W104; Fig. 6). Numerous potsherds dating to the thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE were found on top of the floor, including, a krater (Fig. 7:1), a broad krater (Fig. 7:2), a deep krater glazed on the inside and outside with brownish yellow and green patches and a slightly thickened rim (Fig. 7:3), a deep cooking pot (Fig. 7:4), a deep ribbed cooking pot (Fig. 7:5), a plain table jar (Fig. 7:6), decorated hand-made jugs (Fig. 7:7, 8), a shaped spout of a drinking vessel that has a thickened rim (Fig. 7:9), which is the latest vessel in the assemblage, and a fragment of a decorated and glazed mold-made bowl that bears an inscription (Fig. 7:10).
A tabun that had collapsed inward and contained pottery was found on top of this level in the western probe trench of the excavation.
East of the excavation area and in the probe trenches dug south of the area (see Fig. 1: 5B) erosion consisting of stream pebbles was exposed 0.5 m below the surface down to a depth of 3.5 m (Fig. 8). The accumulation of stream pebbles shows the location of Nahal Gaf, a tributary of Nahal ‘Amud. It seems that the course of the stream delineated the expansion of the ancient settlement to the north and east of Khirbat el-Minya and explains the absence of antiquities south of it.
The deposition of layers in the excavated area indicates three construction phases that are distinguished stratigraphically and consist of meager wall stumps, floors and a wealth of ceramic finds. The pottery finds from the excavation included serving and storage ware characteristic of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries CE. During this period, it seems that changes in several phases were made to the construction outside of El-Minya; however, neither the purpose of it can be identified nor the nature of the exposed complex. The area next to the ruins of the el-Minya palace was exposed in the excavation for the first time. The archaeological probes show that the settlement near the palace existed in the Mamluk period and not at the time when the palace was built. This settlement was concentrated north of Nahal Gaf and did not extend to the south. The Mamluk strata at the site indicate the importance of the sugar industry in the Ginnosar Valley and its expansion beyond the palace structure.