Walls built of small and medium-sized fieldstones were excavated in Squares 3 and 4. A wall (W111; exposed length 2.5 m, width 0.5 m; Figs. 3, 4) oriented east–west was exposed in Square 4. The wall, built a single course high, was founded on a thin layer of brown soil that overlaid sandy yellow soil. Stone collapse in the northern corner of the square may point to a north–south oriented wall, whose southern end adjoined W111.
A cistern (L121; diam. 2.2 m; Figs. 5, 6) was excavated in Square 3; it severed plastered walls (W108, W124) that were ascribed to an installation, possibly the walls of a pool. Another plastered installation, exposed in the southern corner of the square, was in all likelihood, a cesspit that had been cut by mechanical equipment (Fig. 5: Section 1-1). It is unclear whether Walls 108 and 124 were connected, as their upper part was already removed.
An installation was exposed in Square 2. It had survived by a wall stump with plaster remains (W103; Fig. 7), which was abutted from the south by a tamped earth floor with plaster inclusions (L122). Numerous ceramic water pipes were found and it seems that the installation was used for drainage.
Next to the eastern side of Square 1 (Figs. 8, 9), a small section of the upper part of a vault (L123) was exposed; it extended to the southeast, beyond the excavation area and it can be attributed to a cistern or a pool.
The ceramic artifacts attributed to this stratum dated to the ninth–tenth centuries CE and included a Late Roman C bowl (Fig. 10:1), broad open bowls (Fig. 10:2, 3), glazed bowls (Fig. 10:4–6), a cup (Fig. 10:7), kraters (Fig. 10:8–10), a deep closed krater (Fig. 10:11), jars (Fig. 10:12–14), a jar lid (Fig. 10:15), jugs (Fig. 10:16, 17), flasks (Fig. 10:18, 19) and a small vessel (‘Greek-fire grenade’; Fig. 10:20).
Remains from this stratum were only identified in Square 1 and included a section of a wall (W102; exposed length 1.5 m, width 0.7 m; see Figs. 8, 9) built of ashlars, which was abutted by a floor of small fieldstones (L116). Wall 102 was aligned northeast-southwest, while the walls of Stratum II in Squares 3 and 4 were oriented north–south.
The fill (L117) that was found sealed beneath Floor 116 contained ceramic finds that dated to the thirteenth century CE and included a thin-walled Celadon bowl (Fig. 11:1), resembling those found in ‘Akko (IAA Reports 26: Fig. 34:1–3), a yellow-glazed bowl (Fig. 11:2), a bowl coated with a translucent glaze (Fig. 11:3), handmade cooking pots (Fig. 11:4, 5) and a handmade jar (Fig. 11:6).
The Glass Finds
The finds from the excavation are extremely scant and include a total of twenty-seven fragments, seventeen of which can be identified and dated. The vessels are of known and common types and mostly represent the Early Islamic period. Some are dated to the first phase in the eighth century CE and some to the ninth–tenth centuries CE.
The sole glass artifact worthy of publication is a lump of debris from a glass furnace, which represents the stratification of the debris that settled at the bottom of the furnace, and is coated with bluish green glass (max. length 10.7 cm, max. width 5 cm; Fig. 12). The shape of the stratification of the debris layers and the glass indicate that this comes probably from a glass furnace in which vessels were produced, rather than raw glass. Besides this lump of debris, no other remains were found that are likely to indicate the existence of a glass workshop.
Remains of industrial glass debris were found in a number of excavations in Ramla, for example, in an excavation north of the White Mosque, next to the current excavation (Gorin-Rosen Y. 2010. The Islamic Glass Vessels. In O. Gutfeld [ed.]. Ramla. The Excavations to the North of the White Mosque [Qedem 51]. Jerusalem, pp. 213–264).
Stratum II, whose remains extend in a southeast-northwest direction, beyond the excavated squares, is part of the urban settlement of Ramla that reached the peak of its prosperity and size in the ninth–tenth centuries CE.
Stratum I was exposed in a limited area and the ceramic artifacts date it to the thirteenth century CE. The city’s northwestern border in this period ran through the Franciscan monastery on the corner of Bialik and Shafiq ‘Adas Streets, c. 0.55 km southeast of the excavation area. Hence, the remains exposed in the excavation were outside the precincts of the city from the Middle Ages, and are likely related to industrial or agricultural installations.