Stratum III (Abbasid period; eighth–tenth centuries CE). Robber trenches and foundation courses of walls were exposed in three places. Plaster floors, some of which were repaired during the Abbasid period, abutted several of the walls. These meager building remains were possibly part of three structures. A plastered installation (Fig. 3) and a small section of an adjacent floor were exposed in the east of the area. The negatives of ceramic tiles were preserved in the floor. Installations and cesspits were also discovered in the area.
Stratum II (Fatimid period; tenth–eleventh centuries CE). Fragmentary architectural remains were exposed throughout the excavation area. These included walls from Stratum III that were dismantled and replaced by new walls; robber trenches of walls; floors, some of which had been repaired; cesspits (Fig. 4); and cooking hearths. A stove built of three stones was exposed in the east of the area (Fig. 5); presumably an iron grill was set on top of the stones on which the cooking pots were placed. A drainage channel was revealed behind the stove. A thick layer of ash was excavated between the three stones of the stove, and a hearth made of small stones surrounded by a large quantity of ash was uncovered west of the stove. A cistern was exposed in one of the excavation squares, and two round installations to its south were built on a layer of plaster that served as their floor (Fig. 6). An Ushabti figurine, which is Egyptian in origin and dates to the Persian period (fifth century BCE; Fig. 7), was also discovered in the layer.
Stratum I (Mamluk period; thirteenth–sixteenth centuries CE). The architectural remains discovered in this stratum included plaster floors, wall remains, robber trenches of walls, a water system and a cesspit.
Architectural remains, floors, installations and a cistern dating to the Abbasid and Mamluk periods were revealed. The cistern was round and covered with a dome. Two phases were discerned while excavating it. In the early phase, the cistern’s opening was set at the center of the dome. This opening was canceled in the late phase, and a new opening was breached in its place in the cistern’s ceiling (Fig. 8). A gutter connected to a terracotta pipe conveyed rainwater into the cistern. The excavation in this area was halted shortly after it began.
Part of a building was exposed: an edge of a room and an inner courtyard with a plastered installation and a cistern. The building dates to the Abbasid period (Stratum III); five construction phases (A–E) were discerned in it.
Phase A. In the earliest phase, an ashlar wall, preserved two courses high, and a plaster floor that adjoined the wall were uncovered. West of the wall was a pit comprising a square basin built of cast mortar and small fieldstones (Fig. 9). It was coated on the inside with light brown waterproof plaster. Water was conveyed into the installation through three pipes set in the basin’s southern, western and northern walls. A terracotta pipe fixed in the basin’s western wall, c. 0.2 m above the installation’s floor, led to a drainage channel (Fig. 10). The channel was treated with gray waterproof plaster and extended to a cistern located northwest of the basin. Soil fill deposited above the channel was overlaid with a floor of tamped earth. After the basin was no longer used, it filled up with a large amount of plaster fragments that probably came from a basin situated to its north, of which only the floor survived.
Phase B. A new plaster floor was constructed over the floor of the northern basin, effectively covering the remains of the basin.
Phase C. The plaster floor of Phase A was replaced by a new plaster floor (Fig. 11). The new floor abutted the bottom course of the Phase A ashlar wall, which continued to be used, and the walls of the plastered basin, above the level of the pipes, thus, taking them out of use. The walls of the basin were raised with stone construction. A chute was built in the basin’s southeastern corner. Only the bottom part of the chute survived; it seems to have replaced the pipes, which at this phase were not in use any more.
Phase D. The basin went out of use; its upper part was dismantled and the bottom part was blocked with many of its plastered pieces. The ashlar wall was taken apart, save its two bottom courses. A plaster floor was built above the remains of the basin and the wall; three repairs to its plaster were discerned.
Phase E. A new wall was built in the courtyard, part of which was founded on top of the earlier ashlar wall. An opening was fixed at the southern end of the new wall, where part of a doorjamb was preserved. A small section of a floor built of well-fired ceramic tiles was discovered south of the wall (Fig. 12). The floor had cracked in antiquity and was repaired in one place with marble fragments.
The quality construction of the buildings and installations from the Early Islamic period (Strata III, II) and the proximity of the site to the Friday Mosque and the nearby White Tower show that an affluent population resided there at that time. During the Mamluk period (Stratum I), installations were erected on the ruins of the earlier buildings and the cisterns from previous periods were probably also used.