Stratum IIB. Parts of two stone walls (W118, W120) of a single building, founded directly on the chalky bedrock surface, were exposed (Fig. 2). Wall 118 (length in excess of 4 m, width 1 m) on the eastern side of the excavation square was built of two dressed soft limestone block piers; the southern pier was preserved six courses high (1.5 m), while only two courses of the northern pier were extant (Figs. 3, 4). The wall segments between the two dressed stone piers were built of smaller roughly worked fieldstones. Some traces of plaster between the southern pier and the southern fieldstone segment (see Fig. 3) indicated that these piers may have been free-standing plastered columns before the fieldstone segments were added. Wall 120 (length in excess of 2.5 m), parallel to and 4 m west of W118, was only partially exposed as it lay mostly within the balk (Fig. 5). This wall, built on the bedrock of roughly worked fieldstones, was preserved six courses high (1.5 m). A small stone drainage channel (L121) was built into the wall (width 0.3 m, height 0.3 m), presumably to drain off water to the west and down the slope (Fig. 1: Section 3-3). The lowest surfaces associated with W118 were the soft leveled chalk bedrock (L126) and a small area of stone slabs with some chalky patches (L122). The uncovered bedrock (L119) at the base of W120 was c. 0.3 m lower than the bedrock in L126, reflecting the natural slope of the hill from east to west. It is not clear whether these bedrock surfaces were used for living, or were simply bedrock leveling as part of the construction process.
Patches of packed earth and crushed chalk floors (L113, L114 and L116) were found c. 0.5 m above this bedrock level. Floors 113 and 114 consisted of buff-colored thin-layered chalky plaster and abutted W118; chalky Floor 116 abutted W120. All these floors have practically the same elevation, indicating that the walls and the floors were in use contemporaneously. Animal bones, predominantly of goat/sheep, with some cattle and possibly deer, were found in the debris above Floors 113, 114 and 116. The few potsherds found beneath the floors and the many above them included a variety of handmade and wheel-thrown plain and glazed cooking pots (Fig. 6) and hand-painted bowls (Fig. 7:1, 2) and jugs (Fig. 7:3–9), but no colored glazed vessels, indicating a date for the Stratum IIB early phase in the early Mamluk period, probably in the fourteenth century CE. A thin bronze finger ring was found in the drainage Channel 121 and a broken iron nail with a square profile was found on Floor 113 (not illustrated).
Stratum IIA. The main walls of the building, W118 and W120, probably remained standing while several changes were carried out in the room. New plaster floors (L109, L110; thickness c. 0.1 m) were laid above the fill that had accumulated on the earlier floors (see Fig. 1: Sections 1-1, 2-2). A large circular installation (L115; diam. c. 3 m; Fig. 8) was dug into the upper Floor 110 and was enclosed with small stones, some of which were upstanding. A second smaller semicircular installation (L117) was attached to it on the eastern side. The floors and the circular installations were coated with the same cream-colored plaster. Some successive plaster layers were inside the circular installations, as well as some organic material, charcoal and potsherds. Two dressed soft limestone pillars (W108A, W112), visible in the northern balk, were preserved c. 1 m high (Fig. 9).
The potsherds in the fill on these later floors consisted of several colored glazed vessels, including glazed gouged sgraffito bowls (Fig. 10:2, 7, 10, 11), slip-painted bowls (Fig. 10:3, 8), glazed Italian bowls (Fig. 10:1, 5, 6) and soft-paste frit bowls (Fig. 10:9). This assemblage dates Stratum IIA later phase to the latter part of the Mamluk period (fourteenth–fifteenth centuries CE). A blue gritty glazed bowl (Fig. 10:4) may date to the Early Mamluk period.
Stratum I. After the Stratum II building was abandoned, robber trenches (L102, L104a) were dug into Floor 110, presumably to retrieve building stones from the earlier W118 (see Figs. 1: Sections 1-1, 2-2; 2).Above the robber' trenches, the foundation courses of walls (W103, W105 and W106) from the Late Ottoman building were exposed.Some potsherds of Ottoman storage jars and some recent glass fragments were found (not illustrated).
The Stratum II walls may have been part of a large or public building, with a carefully constructed wide W118 and built-in drainage arrangements in W120; however, too small an area was excavated to expose a coherent plan. On the basis of the pottery on the floors of the earlier Stratum IIB phase, this building was constructed in the Late Ayyubid or the Early Mamluk periods and was in use in the fourteenth century CE. The concentration of animal bones and cooking wares may indicate that this area was used as a kitchen in the earlier phase.
Alterations to the building in the later Stratum IIA phase, still within the Mamluk period, possibly transformed the room into a manufacturing or processing area, although no indication for specific products that may have been processed was found. The pottery indicates that the building was probably abandoned in the fifteenth century CE.
Contemporary written sources record that in the medieval period, Kafr Kanna was visited by Christian pilgrims as it was identified with the site of the Wedding miracle where the water was turned into wine. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries CE, Rabbi Moshe Bassoula records a thriving local market at Kafr Kanna, where the Jewish inhabitants of Safed brought their wool to sell.
A noteworthy point of this albeit small excavation is that no buildings earlier than the Mamluk period stood in this specific area of the traditional village nucleus of Kafr Kanna. Several previous excavations in other areas within the municipal boundaries of the village have shown that the Early and Middle Bronze Age settlements were located adjacent to the spring, whereas the Iron II town and the Hellenistic and Roman periods villages were located on the western Karm er-Ras hill. The village nucleus area was exploited as a burial ground in the Roman period, as evidenced by the many uncovered burial caves; it was only in the Early Byzantine period that a church, commemorating Jesus’ transformation of water to wine, was built here and its remains were excavated beneath the present-day Wedding Church. This church was probably the earliest building in the area that subsequently developed into the village nucleus. To date, few other building remains of the Byzantine period have been found in the village nucleus; most of the remains uncovered in the course of archaeological supervision and in small excavations date, as the present excavation, to the Mamluk period and onward.