Stratum 1 (Fig. 1)

Part of a building that was constructed in the nineteenth or the twentieth centuries was exposed. The western wall (W1) and two other walls (W2, destroyed when the area was prepared and not surveyed, and W3) were discovered. Next to eastern wall (W3) was a pillar for an arch that supported the roof (Fig. 2). A wider arch pillar, whose foundations were higher than those of the wall, was built at the northern end of W3. The northern side of the building was set up into deposits of dark earth with burnt layers near an ancient vault (L103). The floor of the building consisted of a potsherd layer covered with tamped earth (L102). Most of the pottery fragments were from the Mamluk period, although Rashaya el-Fukhar vessels from the Ottoman period and later were also collected. Twentieth-century objects were recovered from the building collapse and one of the villagers claimed that the building was in use until the middle of this century.


Stratum 2 (Fig. 3)

A small vaulted room (L103; Figs. 1: Section 2-2; 4) in the northeastern corner of the excavation was apparently constructed after the Mamluk building went out of use. A wall (W7), as wide as one stone, was built c. 0.5 m above bedrock and separated Room 103 from an adjacent room (L104). It seems that W7 was meant to retain the fill in Room 104 and the vault was built on top of it. Room 103 was not excavated due to the danger of the vault’s collapse. Alternating horizontal layers of brown and light yellow soil (L100; 0.5–0.6 m) were deposited above the vault and probably served as wattle and daub for sealing the roof. The pillar at the northern end of W3 (Stratum 1) penetrated these layers. It therefore seems that the vault was established after the Mamluk building was destroyed (Stratum 3), yet before the construction of the building in Stratum 1.


Stratum 3

This lowest stratum revealed the remains of a structure from the Mamluk period (L106; 3.4 × 4.0 m), surrounded by four walls (W8–W11) built of square limestone blocks, some of which were large ashlars in secondary use. The side facing the courtyard utilized large stones of a better quality than the side facing the adjacent rooms. The building had two phases. In the first phase the southern W9 was built slightly above bedrock. The eastern W8, whose foundations were slightly higher, abutted W9 from the north. Two entries (width 0.75–0.85 m) in the walls had doorjambs of large ashlar stones in secondary use, without a shaped frame (Fig. 1: Section 1-1). Small sections of pavement were laid in front of the entries. To the north of the entrance in W9 were two ashlar stones in secondary use and to the west of the entry in W8 was a pavement of flat fieldstones. An earthen pavement (L107) that abutted the walls was overlaid with a large number of potsherds from the Mamluk period. Mamluk potsherds, mostly painted but not glazed, were also found between the pavement and the bedrock. In the second phase, the entry in W8 was blocked and the northern W11 was built. The courtyard was covered with a new earthen floor (L106) that was overlaid with numerous potsherds, some of them handmade and some glazed, dating to the Mamluk period. A room (L105) to the east of the courtyard was excavated to the level of the top course of the walls. To its north was a small section of a room (L104) whose wall foundations were set a few centimeters above bedrock.


This area, close to the northeastern end of the village, was first settled in the Mamluk period. The building in Stratum 3 was constructed on bedrock and below its floor were only potsherds from the Mamluk period. The building seems to have operated for a long time, during which its internal division was modified and the floors were raised. After it was no longer used, a small vaulted room that should probably be dated to the Ottoman period was built atop its northeastern part. At the end of the nineteenth or beginning of the twentieth century CE, a building that was in service until the 1950s was erected above the Mamluk building. After its destruction, a courtyard with a concrete pavement was put up above it.