During June 2001 a trial excavation was conducted in the courtyard of the Al-Amal Elementary School in the Old City of Ramla (Permit No. A-3439*; map ref. NIG 188010–35/648018–38; OIG 138010–35/148018–38). The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by A. Nagorsky, with the assistance of I. Rahamim (administration), V. Pirsky (surveying), T. Sagiv (photography), E. Belashov (drafting) and I. Lidski (pottery drawing).
Remains of a large residential building were discovered in the southern part of the excavation. It was constructed in the middle of the 1930s and was demolished in 1963 when the Al-Amal School was built (Fig. 1). Mechanical equipment was used in Square B2, digging to a depth of 2.5 m below the foundations of the building. Numerous potsherds, fragments of glass vessels and pipes from the Ottoman period were found, as well as a broken marble capital (diam. 0.85 m; height 1.1 m). A wall (W70; preserved height 1.1 m) built of small and medium fieldstones with reddish gray bonding material was exposed in the northwestern corner of the excavation area. Another wall stump (W73) was opposite an opening (width 0.6 m) in W70. Between the walls and in the opening was a floor of small stones (L65). A yellowish gray plaster floor (Loci 69, 76) with burnt marks was exposed to the north of W70. The fill above and below the floor contained numerous potsherds that dated to the seventeenth-eighteenth centuries CE, including bowls (Fig. 2:1, 2), kraters (Fig. 2:3–5), jars (Fig. 2:6–11) and a handle (Fig. 2:12), as well as glass fragments, bracelets and animal bones. Fifteen mostly complete pipes were discovered in the fill above and below the Ottoman floors and four other pipes were on surface in Square A5 (in preparation).