During May–June 2004, an excavation was conducted at the intersection of Levi Eshkol and S.Y. Agnon Streets in Ramat Aviv (Permit No. A-4168*; map ref. NIG 18024/66774; OIG 13024/16774), after antiquities were discovered while inspecting infrastructure work. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by A. Dagot, with the assistance of E. Bachar (administration), A. Hajian (surveying), T. Sagiv (field photography), M. Shuiskaya-Arnov (drawing and surveying), M. Sadeh (archaeozoology), D.T. Ariel (stamp impression), P. Gendelman (pottery consultation) and A. Buchennino.
The site is located on the western kurkar ridge of the coastal plain, c. 600 m west of Tell Qasile and c. 1 km east of Tell Kudadi. Nine excavations were conducted at the site between 1995 and 2004, exposing remains from Middle Bronze II and the Hellenistic Roman, Byzantine, Mamluk and Ottoman periods (Fig. 1).
Two excavation areas were opened, 90 m apart.
Area A (Fig. 2)
Two squares were opened. A dressed limestone block (L120; 0.7 × 0.7 m) and collapse that consisted of medium-sized fieldstones (L122) to its east were found in Square I. A sounding in the northwestern corner of the square (1 × 1 m) was excavated; three levels (Loci 102, 104, 118), which contained concentrations of jar fragments from the Roman period (Fig. 3:3), were discovered.
Two construction phases were identified in Square II (2.5 × 5.0 m). In the early phase, a wall (W114; 0.3 × 0.6 m) of fieldstones without bonding material was preserved a single course high. In the later phase, two walls (W107, W112; Fig. 4) that formed the corner of a building were built of dressed limestone (0.3 × 0.6 m) and medium-sized fieldstones. The eastern face of W107 was not preserved and therefore, it was impossible to ascertain its original width.
Apart from the Roman-period pottery, a few potsherds from Middle Bronze II (not illustrated) and the Hellenistic period were found, including bowls (Fig. 3:1, 2) and a jar (Fig. 3:4). The hamra soil fill (L105) west of W107 contained a stamped Rhodian amphora handle that bears the name Δικα[ίο]ς (Fig. 3:5)––a well-known potter who worked between the years 260–210 BCE.
Pits excavated in soft kurkar bedrock were documented in five points (A– E; Fig. 5).
Point A was an elliptical pit (diam. 1.9 m; depth of 0.65 m; Fig. 6) filled with brown hamra soil that contained animal bones and a few potsherds, which ranged in date from the Hellenistic period until the modern era.
Points B–D were circular pits (B–– diam. 1.3 m, depth 1.6 m; C–– diam. 1 m, depth 1.64 m; D–– diam. 1.2 m, depth 1.5 m), in which three fill layers were discerned. The upper layer consisted of brown hamra soil; the middle layer was dark burnt matrix that contained a large quantity of organic material and animal bones, and the bottom layer was brown hamra soil.
Point E was a rectangular pit (1.0 × 1.5 m; depth 0.3 m).
The ceramics recovered from the pits included a jar (Fig. 7:1) from Middle Bronze II, a jar (Fig. 7:2) from the Byzantine period, a jar (Fig. 7:3) from the Early Islamic period, a cooking pot (Fig. 7:4) from the Mamluk period and a pipe (Fig. 7:5) from the Ottoman period, as well as a very large amount of animal bones, mostly sheep, goat, pig, donkey and cattle.