During August 2006 a small salvage excavation was conducted in a privately-owned building plot in the village of Sulam, 4 km east of ‘Afula (Permit No. 4872*; NIG 231602/723484; OIG 181602/223484). The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by Y. Alexandre, assisted by Y. Laban (administration), L. Barda (GPS) and workers provided by the land owner.
The village of Sulam, which is built over and around an archaeological tell, developed around a spring.
The present excavation (25 sq m) was undertaken in the center of the village, immediately south of the spring, beyond and south of the tell. A 0.5 m thick layer of dumped and accumulated soil was removed with mechanical equipment prior to the excavation, which revealed a wall and a living surface, both dating to the Mamluk period.
The limited archaeological remains consisted of an east–west oriented wall (W104; width 1 m; Fig. 1), running the length of the excavation square. Wall 104 was preserved a single course high (0.3 m) and set on a layer of earth. It was built of two faces of large, roughly worked and loosely lain stones, including a worn threshold stone and another with a worn hollow in the center, both in secondary use. Between the two faces was a small-stone rubble core. No other wall was associated with W104, although above and around it were large quantities of collapsed stones. W104 may be dated to the Mamluk period on the basis of a few potsherds, mostly body fragments.
Layers of accumulated fill, with a possible packed-earth occupation level were excavated c. 0.2–0.4 m below the base of W104, containing some Mamluk potsherds.
The area was excavated to a depth of 2.2 m below surface, without reaching bedrock.
This small archaeological excavation indicated that a Mamluk settlement had existed in this part of the site.