The Saraya (HA-ESI 109:10*–13*). Three trial squares (2 × 2 m) were opened along the western wall of the Turkish Saraya courtyard, prior to converting the building into a community center. Upon removal of a modern cement floor, a layer of fill (2 m thick) that contained stone collapse, remains of marble elements and potsherds from the Ottoman and Crusader periods was discovered. Below this layer was a well-tamped plaster floor, which showed the negatives of marble tiles (0.25 × 0.25 m), only a few fragments of which were found in situ. Fragments of stained glass windows were recovered from the plaster floor. The threshold of an entrance built of black granite was in the middle of the wall. It seems the excavation exposed the entrance structure (narthex) of the Church of St. John in the Hospitaller Quarter. The probe was very limited and the development of the Saraya will require a large-scale excavation.


The Hospitaller Center

The Dining Room. A square was excavated in the western part of the structure. A well-preserved kurkar quarry that dated to the Hellenistic period was discovered. In the eastern part of the structure was a plastered water reservoir that had been first excavated in the 1960s and cleaned once again.


The Northern Moat. Two trial squares were excavated along the line of the planned infrastructure. Light gray soil fill with a high concentration of beach sand was found at a depth of 2.5 m. It contained the remains of metal fences, metal canteens and others, probably from the Mandatory Prison. A square was opened next to the northwestern corner of the Treasury Tower (Hazana Tower), revealing the well-built remains of a circular tower that was built of large ashlars with drafted margins set on a bedding of natural kurkar (preserved height 2.8 m). A large quantity of Crusader-period pottery was found in part of the foundation trench (0.2 m wide) that was uncovered against the tower wall. It was ascertained that the Treasury Tower, which is dated to the Turkish period, was built on the remains of a circular tower from the Crusader period.


The Southern Street. The removal of soil from the Crusader Street, south of the Hospitaller Center, continued. Following the Mamluk conquest of ‘Akko in 1291, the street was blocked with stone collapse and soil, which contained thirteenth century CE Crusader pottery, as well as Ottoman pottery.