Stratum 2. A room (2.7 × 5.7 m; Fig. 1), enclosed within four walls––Wall 1 (length 5.2 m, width 0.65 m, height 0.6 m) on the south, Wall 2 (length 3.35 m, width 0.95 m, height 0.7 m) on the west, Wall 3 (length 4.5 m, width 0.55 m, height 0.25 m) on the north and Wall 4 (length 3.1 m, width 0.75 m, height 0.2 m) on the east––was discovered. It seems that W2 predated the construction of the walls that joined it. A kurkar flagstone floor was in the southeastern part of the room (L118) and a layer of tamped earth (L114) was in its northwestern part. Another wall (W5; height 0.10–0.25 m) was discovered c. 0.5 m from and parallel to W4. Most of W5 remained concealed within the balk and thus, its function and connection to the building are unclear. Nonetheless, it apparently belonged to this stratum. Another wall (W6; length 2.85 m, width 0.90–0.95 m, height 0.30–0.35 m), discovered on the eastern side of W2, was built of long ashlar stones arranged as headers and stretchers. It overlaid W2 and continued its line, deviating 0.5 m to the west. Despite the difference in the walls’ construction and the lack of congruence, they appear to have been contemporaneous.
A cluster of ashlar stones that do not appear to be collapse was discovered in the eastern corner of the square, east of W5. Although its nature is unclear, the ashlars belong to Stratum 2 since the kurkar layer of Stratum 1 surmounts it.
 
 
The pottery recovered from the room included bowls (Fig. 2:1, 2), a goblet (Fig. 2:3), kraters (Fig. 2:4), cooking pots (Fig. 2:5), Gaza jars (2:6–8), jugs (Fig. 2:9), juglets (Fig. 2:10), bottles (Fig. 2:11–13) and lamps (Fig. 2:14), all dating to the sixth century CE. Seven coins that could be identified (Table 1:1–7) were found. One of the coins is dated to the second century BCE (Table 1:7) and the rest––to the first half of the sixth century CE.
 
 
Stratum 1. This stratum, which is clearly apparent in the eastern part of the excavation, consisted of a layer of yellowish white kurkar soil (thickness 5–10 cm; L113) that bore a layer of horizontal potsherds (thickness 10–25 cm). The potsherds included mainly fragments of Gaza jars that are dated to the sixth century CE, as well as a few pieces of slag, which could be debris from a pottery workshop. It is apparent from the balks’ sections that the pottery horizon and the layer of crushed kurkar overlie the walls of the building from Stratum 2 (Walls 3, 4, 5; Fig. 1: Section 2:2). Two coins, one dating to the fourth century CE (Table 1:9) and the other, to the middle of the sixth century CE (Table 1:8), were discovered in the potsherd horizon.
 
 
The room from Stratum 2 was dated to the Byzantine period (first half of the sixth century CE). The multitude of storage jars it contained implies that it was probably a storehouse, although not for a prolonged period. Stratum 1 is dated to the middle of the sixth century CE, indicating that a period of time had elapsed after the destruction of the building. During this short gap, debris from the nearby pottery workshop that was not exposed in the excavation, was discarded at the site.
 
 
Table 1: The Coins and their Identification
 

No.

Loc.

Strat.

Period / Ruler

Date

Coin

Denomination

IAA No.

1

114

2

Vandal / Thrasamund

496–523 CE

Carthage

Nummus

92192

2

105

2

Anastasius I

512–517 CE

Constantinople

Follis

92188

3

105

2

Justin I

518–527 CE

Antioch

Follis

92187 (Fig. 3:1)

4

101

2

Justin I

518–527 CE

 

5 Nummi

92186

5

115

2

Justinian I

527–538 CE

Nicomedia

Follis

92192

6

117

2

Vandalic

Mid sixth century CE

Carthage

Nummus

92194

7

117

2

Antiochus VII

136–134 BCE

Antioch

 

92193

8

109

1

Justinian I

538/539 CE

Carthage

Half follis

92189 (Fig. 3:2)

9

112

1

Honorius (?)

395–423 CE

Rome (?)

 

92190