During January–February 2003 a salvage excavation was conducted at the Qirya in Tel Aviv (License No. B-268/2003; map ref. NIG 180205–25/664230–90; OIG 130205–25/164230–90). The excavation, on behalf of the Department of Archaeology and the Land of Israel Studies of Bar-Ilan University, was directed by R. Avissar, with the assistance of D. Castel (pottery restoration), Y. Rodman (drawing) and M. Hershkowitz (pottery reading).
The Antiquities Authority exposed an area, west of the Qalqa Building Bridge on Petah Tiqwa Road in Tel Aviv. In the wake of discovering several anomalies, development work was suspended until a salvage excavation could take place.
Eighty elements of various sizes (anomalies that were defined as excavation areas), which were mostly found to be natural depressions in bedrock (Fig. 1), were excavated. The excavation in those spots ended with the exposure of kurkar bedrock or a layer devoid of finds.
The fill that had been swept from surface into several pits contained potsherds that included fragments from the modern era (nineteenth–twentieth centuries CE), as well as from the Mamluk, Roman and Hellenistic periods.
The remains of a stone wall, built atop bedrock, were discovered in Area 42. The wall was severed by a modern concrete wall that retained a roadbed portion of the Petah Tiqwa Road. Numerous fragments of pottery vessels were discovered on bedrock surface, including a Megarian bowl (Fig. 2:1) and a flask (Fig. 2:2) from the second century BCE.
Area 25 was apparently used as a water cistern, which was excavated to a depth of 2.8 m from surface. Several human bones, which were sent for re-burial by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, as well as bones and teeth of animals, were discovered in the fill.