In November 2015, a trial excavation was conducted east of Tel ʽAkko (Permit No. A-7540; map ref. 208988–98/758283–97; Fig. 1), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Efgad Company, was directed by R. Abu Raya, with the assistance of Y. Yaʽaqobi and B. Zidan (administration), M. Kahan (surveying and drafting), A. Shapiro (GPS) and T. Horowitz, as well laborers from Kafr Manda.
The foundations of the southeastern corner of a building (W1, W2; 35 sq m; Figs. 2, 3) from the Persian and early Hellenistic periods were excavated c. 300 m east of Tel ʽAkko. They were exposed after removing asphalt and modern debris by mechanical equipment followed by a manual excavation in heavy alluvium (thickness 0.5 m). All that survived of the foundations was a single course of medium-sized fieldstones and large kurkar stones, with small stones in between. The eastern face of W1 (length 6.5 m, width 0.5 m, height 0.3 m) tilts westward, and part of it seems to have sunk in the past. The eastern part of W2 (length 3.2 m, width 0.6 m) had been robbed. Only a meager amount of pottery was found in the levels abutting the walls; these included four jar rims (Fig. 4:1–4) characteristic of the Persian period (fifth–fourth centuries BCE), as well as two jar rims (Fig. 4:5, 6) and a cooking pot rim (Fig. 4:7) typical of the Early Hellenistic period (mid-fourth century BCE).
Settlement remains from various periods were exposed in the past on Tel Akko (Tel el-Fukhar), where an important port city, controlled for the most part by the Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon, prospered and expanded during the Persian and Hellenistic periods. The current excavation yielded a poorly preserved settlement layer that dates from the Persian and the early Hellenistic periods. The building, whose corner was exposed, probably belonged to a residential quarter on the eastern outskirts of the Persian city. An excavation (Permit No. A-7387) recently conducted north of the current excavation area yielded sections of walls and habitation levels from these periods. The finds from both excavations present us with a more accurate picture of the layout of the city during these periods, and significantly extend the boundary of the settlement eastwards. Following the early Hellenistic period, the area was abandoned and was resettled only in modern times.