During July 2002 a trial excavation was conducted on the Jerusalem Boulevard in Ramla (Permit No. A-3681*; map ref. NIG 188564–790/64868–89; OIG 138564–790/14868–89). The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by H. Torge, with the assistance of V. Essman (surveying), T. Sagiv (photography), N. Zak (drafting) and M. Shuiskaya-Arnov (drawing).
Based on finds discovered in probe trenches dug prior to the excavation, two half squares were opened.
Two walls and a section of a plaster floor were uncovered in the southern square (A; Fig. 1). The southern wall (W1; preserved length 4 m, width 1 m) was oriented north–south and consisted of two rows of stones; only the bottom course was discovered. Two stones survived from the northern wall (W6; length 1.3 m). A small plaster floor section (L107) was discerned west of W1. The area was severely damaged by modern infrastructure work, which made it impossible to determine the relationship between the plaster floor and the wall, as well as between the two walls.
Part of a building that divided the area into four spaces was exposed in the northern square (B; Fig. 2). A white plaster floor (c. 0.5 cm thick) with a damaged installation above it was uncovered in the northwestern space (L104), which was delimited by Wall 4 in the east and Wall 3 in the south. The northeastern space was an installation (L106; 2.0 × 2.5 m) with a vault that was partially discovered. It was enclosed within Wall 7 in the north, which incorporated a dressed stone that may have been a step, W4 in the west and Wall 5 in the east. The latter two were arched and constituted the base of a vault that covered the installation in the past. The southern border of the space, as well as the bottom of the installation (excavation reached depth of 1.5 m) was not revealed. Based on shape, size, the vault and the absence of a plastered bottom, the installation was probably used as a septic pit.
The space in the southwestern part of the area (L102) contained a white plaster floor, overlying a bedding of thin hamra bricks. This space was surrounded by W3 in the north, which was severely damaged, precluding the ability to discern the direction of the wall’s smooth face, and W2 in the east, which was better preserved (length 4.2 m). One of its sides was built of smoothed stones and faced Space 102 and the other side comprised small stones with a gray plaster debesh. The wall extended beyond the limits of the excavation.
The southeastern space (L105), which was enclosed by W2 in the west, W3 in the north and W4 in the east, had no plaster floor. Wall 3 was better preserved here, consisting of two faces (a total length of 3.5 m); Walls 2 and 3 were intermingled and contemporaneous and W3 abutted W4.
A pipe of ceramic sections was discovered 0.5 m below surface in a pit dug by mechanical equipment next to the square; nearby was a small section of a plaster floor. It is feasible that another higher layer existed in part of the area, missing nowadays in the excavation squares due to development and infrastructure work of a modern road.
The finds were quite meager and consisted of a few pottery fragments, mostly recovered from the septic installation and dating the site to the Early Islamic period, including bowls (Fig. 3:1–7), kraters (Fig. 3:8, 9), a cooking pot (Fig. 3:10), a jar (Fig. 3:11), jugs (Fig. 3:12–14), cups (Fig. 3:15–17), a handle (Fig. 3:18) and a decorated bowl fragment (Fig. 3:19).