Area A
A rectangular area (2.5×5.0 m) that consisted of two levels was opened (Fig. 1).
Level 1 was represented by a thin dark brown layer on bedrock. The potsherds recovered from this layer dated to the Roman period and included some non-diagnostic potsherds that came from a cupmark hewn in bedrock
Level 2 (thickness 0.1–0.5 m) was a grayish red layer, superposing Level 1. This layer contained a large number of small and medium-sized stones, as well as a number of potsherds, which dated the surface layer to the Mamluk period and a coin (IAA 106518) that dated to the fourteenth century CE.
Area B
A rectangular excavation area (2.5×6.0 m) was opened at the northeastern end of the site. Two occupation levels were discovered (Fig. 2).
Level 1 was bedrock, with a depression on the north side that accessed a cave. The cave remained unexcavated, but potsherds were collected from the entrance of the cave, which was defined by a semicircle of standing stones (L205). The cave was in use during the Early Roman period, possibly for burial. The Roman finds are represented by a bronze cup handle (Fig. 3) and a small copper bowl (Fig. 4), possibly a weighing pan, a pyramidal loom weight (Fig. 5:1) and a cooking-pot rim (Fig. 5:2).
Mamluk potsherds were also retrieved from the cave’s entrance.
The ceramics collected from bedrock, adjacent to the cave’s entrance, consisted of potsherds from the Middle Roman period that were mainly Kefar Hananyia-type vessels, including bowl rims (Fig. 5:3, 4) and a cooking-pot rim (Fig. 5:5). Another distinct find was a boar tusk (Fig. 5:6) that possibly indicated the culinary preferences and religious identity of the inhabitants.
Level 2. A wall (W10; length 4 m, width 0.5 m), oriented east-west, was build upon bedrock during the Mamluk period. Wall 10, built of medium-sized dressed stones, was preserved 2 m high. At the base of W10, on its western end, was a small, poorly constructed archway that provided access to the cave (L205; Fig. 6).
At a later stage within the Mamluk period, a plastered installation, whose purpose or function are unclear, was constructed upon bedrock (L202; Fig. 7). The badly damaged plaster floor of Installation 202 was not discerned above the cave entrance; however, traces of this floor in the western section suggest that the floor covered the cave opening at this time. Plaster traces also show that the floor originally ran up W10 and was designed as a plastered basin with a shallow stepped entrance from the east. It was later blocked by Wall 11 (length 1.1 m, width 0.9 m), oriented north–south, which was built of medium-sized fieldstones. Wall 11 was set on bedrock and bonded with the upper two courses of W10.
The awkward position of W11 in relation to the plaster floor of Installation 202 indicates that W11 belonged to a later stage, although the potsherds dated the walls and the floor to the Mamluk period. Apparently, W11 was associated with traces of a higher plastered floor found at the western end of the excavation area (L203). Mamluk potsherds that were discovered together with potsherds from the Romnan period within the archway, especially a Mamluk long-nozzle oil lamp (Fig. 8:1), may indicate that when W11 was constructed, Installation 202 was out of use, but the cave was accessible again.
All potsherds retrieved from the levels within Installation 202 and the later Floor 203 belonged to the Mamluk period (thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE) and included a handmade cooking bowl (Fig 8:2 ), glazed bowls (Fig 8:3, 4), a rim of a deep cooking pot (Fig. 8:5), jar rims (Fig. 8:6, 7) and two body fragments that are characteristic of the period, a soft paste underglazed potsherd (Fig. 8:8) and a decorated handmade jug (Fig. 8:9).
Although limited in its size, the current excavation shows that occupation in this area began during the Early/Middle Roman period and after a gap, was resumed during the Mamluk period. The plastered installation in Area B was dated to the Mamluk period but ceased to be used still within this period, probably toward its end. When the later W11 was built, the Roman cave was apparently accessible once again and used for an unknown purpose.
The excavation at Hazor proves that archeological remains are still present at the site, despite the extensive damage caused to it.