In September 2017, a trial excavation was conducted in the Agammim neighborhood of Ashqelon, near ‘Emeq Hefer Blvd. (Permit No. A-8100; map ref. 159108/617153; Fig. 1), prior to construction. The excavation undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the City of Ashqelon, was directed by N.D. Michael (field photography), with the assistance of Y. Alamor (administration), N.S. Paran (GPS), M. Kahan (surveying and drafting), E.I. Delerzon (plans), I. Lidsky-Reznikov (pottery drawing), N. Lect Ben Ami (pottery analysis), I. Reznitsky (coin cleaning) and D.T. Ariel (numismatics).
Area A yielded no architectural remains; only body sherds from the Chalcolithic period were discovered (not drawn).
Area B (Fig. 2) yielded several patches of a bedding for a floor or an installation made of light gray mortar (L108, L109; thickness 5–10 cm). An accumulation (L104) above the level of this bedding contained pottery sherds from the Hellenistic period, dating from the second century BCE: a ‘fishplate’ (Fig. 3:1), a pinched handle bowl (Fig. 3:5) and storage jars (Fig. 3:7, 8). Similar accumulations yielded two Hellenistic-period coins—of Antiochus III (223–187 BCE, Antioch; L105; IAA 152766) and of Antiochus IV (173/2–168 BCE, ‘Akko; L103; IAA 152767)—and one fourth-century CE coin (L105; IAA 152768), which is most likely intrusive.
The remains of a wall collapse (W107), containing local stones, was discovered in the eastern part of Area B. Hellenistic-period sherds were found in an accumulation to the south of the remains (L106): a ‘fishplate’ (Fig. 3:2), an Eastern Sigillata bowl/plate (Fig. 3:3), an incurved-rim bowl (Fig. 3:4), a casserole (Fig. 3:6), storage jars (Fig. 3:9, 10) and jugs (Fig. 3:11, 12). Two Hellenistic coins were also found from Accumulation 106, one Ptolemaic (Series VB [c. 220–197 BCE], Alexandria; IAA 152769) and one of Antiochus III (198–187 BCE, ‘Akko; IAA 152770).
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