During November 2012 a trial excavation was conducted in a private lot on Lohame Agadir Street in Lod (Pemit No. A-6651; map ref. 19071-3/65162-6). The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by A. Nagorsky, with the assistance from R. Abu Halaf (administration), M. Kunin (surveying), E. Shadman and A. ‘Azab (preliminary antiquities inspections), A. Dagot (GPS) and N. Katsnelson (glass).
The excavation was carried out on the southeastern part of the ancient tell of Lod, near the southern bank of Nahal Ayyalon. Remains dating from the Neolithic through the Ottoman periods were exposed in numerous surveys and excavations previously conducted on the tell.
Architectural remains from the early twentieth century CE and a system of concrete pipes were discovered while preparing the area for excavation. The walls of the building were constructed of ancient stones that were probably taken from an ancient building that was discovered beneath +it. At the depth of 0.8 m below the foundation of the modern building, a wall (W12; length 13 m, width 1 m, preserved height 0.9 m; Figs. 1, 2) constructed along a north–south axis and sections of two perpendicular walls (W16, W17) that were bonded to it were exposed. The three walls, built of small and medium fieldstones, were severed by later construction activity; however, it seems that W12 was the exterior wall of the building and continued westward.
W12 was founded on a layer of clean sand. That layer covered a layer of brown sand (L15) that contained Middle Bronze Age 2 sherds. A light-yellow sandy fill (L10) containing Byzantine sherds abutted W12 on its west. A fill of black, muddy soil (L11, L13) that abutted W12 to its east contained sherds from the Middle Bronze 2, Iron 2, Persian, Byzantine and Ottoman periods.
In addition, fragments of glass cups, a jug and bowls dating to the Early Byzantine period and a fragment of a clay tobacco pipe from the Ottoman period were found.
The ancient building remains were dated to the Byzantine period. The structure’s foundations were built in sandy soil that contained pottery from the Middle Bronze Age 2 only. After the building was destroyed, black, muddy soil rich in sherds dating to a range of periods was brought to the site. Based on previous excavations, the building should be ascribed to a Byzantine settlement at the site (HA-ESI 117
; HA-ESI 124
; Permit No. A-2409; License No. B-280/2003).