The Pool
The eastern part of a rectangular pool with round corners (length 11.8 m, min. width 8.3 m, preserved height 1.4 m) was exposed. The walls of the pool (W3, W10, W11; width 0.9 m, preserved height 1.4 m), built of basalt ashlars, were founded on a layer of marl. Walls 10 and 11 continued westward, beyond the limits of the excavation. Four stone consoles, 0.8 m above the floor and 2.5 m apart, which protruded c. 0.35 m into the pool, were incorporated in Wall 3. The floor and the interior surfaces of the walls were coated with hydraulic plaster, applied to a base layer of potsherds (Fig. 3), which were mostly jar fragments that dated to the fourth century CE.
Gray soil (L5, L9; thickness 0.6 m) that accumulated on the floor contained potsherds that dated from the fourth to the sixth centuries CE, including a Galilean bowl (Fig. 4:1), a bowl (Fig. 4:2), a red-slipped bowl imported from Cyprus (Fig. 4:3), kraters (Fig. 4:4, 5), lids (Fig. 4:6–8), cooking pots (Fig. 4:9–15), jars (Fig. 5:1–5), jugs (Fig. 5:6) and juglets (Fig. 5:7). Noteworthy among the lamps is an elliptical specimen whose handle and wick-hole formed an integral part of the body; the large fill-hole is surrounded by a prominent ridge and the engraved decoration is composed of a herringbone pattern on the shoulder and two parallel lines on the handle (Fig. 5:8). Two other mold-made lamps, characterized by a leaf-shaped handle (Fig. 5:9, 10), are common to Bet She’an and date to the fourth–fifth centuries CE. The head of a bird or rooster among the special finds is a hollow toy that was also used as a rattle (Fig. 5:11). A similar toy, dating from the first to the fifth centuries CE, was found in a burial cave in the Sharon region (‘Atiqot 22:34*, Fig. 4 [Hebrew]).
The finds in this layer included five coins, two of which are legible: an antoninianus of
Claudius II, minted in Antioch (272–275 CE; IAA 120148) and a coin that is dated to 341–346 CE (IAA 120149).
The Architectural Unit
Two walls (W2, W7; Fig. 6) and a tamped earth floor between them were discovered c. 1 m east of and parallel to the pool. The walls may have formed a right angle before it was destroyed by a modern sewer line. These were probably part of an architectural unit that had not been completely unearthed. The walls, founded on small fieldstones and preserved two courses high, were built of basalt fieldstones.
It seems that the remains belonged to a majestic building complex, which was constructed in the Late Roman period (beginning of the fourth century CE), continued to exist in the Byzantine period and ceased to be used during the sixth century CE.