Area A. Remains of Strata II and I were exposed (Fig. 2). The northern sides of two wall sections (W12, W13), built along the same east–west alignment and probably belonging to the same wall, were revealed in Stratum II. Both walls, built of basalt and travertine fieldstones, were preserved to a maximum of two courses high. Wall 12 was founded on a layer of fill that consisted of small and medium-sized basalt stones (L114). The two wall sections were abutted by a layer of gray soil fill (L109, L113, L117) that contained basalt stones and numerous potsherds, which were mostly handmade or glazed bowls from the thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE. Coins that dated to the Mamluk period (below, Nos. 5, 6) were associated with this stratum.
A wall (W10; width 0.7 m), ascribed to Stratum I, was oriented north–south and built of basalt fieldstones. The wall, preserved to a maximum of two courses high, was perpendicular to and built above Walls 12 and 13. A layer of gray soil fill with basalt stones, fragments of pottery vessels and a large amount of modern debris (L100, L105, L108) was on either side of the wall and over it. A sugar bowl (Fig. 3:4) and a coin (below, No. 8) from the Mamluk period were found in the fill together with many potsherds that dated to the Ottoman period.
Area B. Remains attributed to Strata II and I were exposed (Fig. 4). The northern face of a wall, oriented east–west (W18), was revealed in Stratum II; it was probably the continuation of Walls 12 and 13 in Area A. Wall 18, also built of basalt fieldstones, was founded on a layer of fill that consisted of small and medium-sized basalt stones (L115). Only a single course of the wall was preserved and the fill that abutted it (L110) included numerous potsherds dating to the Mamluk period (thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE) and an Umayyad coin (below, No. 1) that probably penetrated into this stratum as a result of modern disturbances.
A wall (W11; width 0.8–1.0 m), aligned north–south, was exposed in Stratum I; it was built of basalt fieldstones that were founded on the remains of Stratum II. Above the wall, preserved to a maximum of two courses high, and on either of its sides, were accumulations of modern debris (L101, L106, L107) that contained a Mamluk coin (below, No. 9) and potsherds dating to the Mamluk and Ottoman periods.
Area C. Only remains of Stratum II were exposed (Fig. 5). A floor of lime, bonded with small stones (L112) and founded on small basalt stones (L120), was uncovered in most of the square’s area. The floor was damaged at the northern end of the square when a modern pit was dug. A row of stones was aligned north–south along the western part of the floor. This was probably a fence that included a column drum in secondary use (W1). The accumulation layer (thickness 0.1–0.3 m) on the floor contained four coins (below, Nos. 2–4, 11); one of the coins dated to the thirteenth century CE and the rest—to the fourteenth century CE, as well as fragments of pottery vessels, including glazed bowls (Fig. 3:1), a sugar jar (Fig. 3:5) and a jar with a geometric design (Fig. 3:7) that dated to the Mamluk period. A very large quantity of potsherds was found while dismantling the floor, including bowls (Fig. 3:2, 3) and a molasses jar that was used in the sugar industry (Fig. 3:6), dating to the Mamluk period. These finds date the floor to the Mamluk period (thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE).
Area D. Remains ascribed to the three strata were exposed (Fig. 6). Those attributed to Stratum III included two walls: a massive wall (W14; width 2 m), oriented north–south and part of a wall (W17), aligned east–west. Wall 14, preserved four courses high (1.1 m), was built of two rows of large, roughly hewn basalt and limestone, with a wide core of small and medium-sized fieldstones; white plaster was applied to the western side of the wall. The width of Wall 14 is identical to that of the western moat wall of the Crusader fortress, exposed north of the excavation (HA-ESI 15:43–47), and it is built along the same axis. Therefore, it seems that W14 was the southern continuation of the moat wall, which continued to exist in the Mamluk period and served as a foundation for buildings in the Ottoman period. Only the uppermost course of
W17, also built of large limestone and basalt fieldstones, was exposed but its full height is unknown. It seems that W17 adjoined W14 and both were part of one building.
A wall (W16; width 0.75 m), preserved four courses high (0.7 m) and built of two rows of medium-sized basalt fieldstones, was affixed to the western side of W14 in Stratum II. A floor of tamped earth and small stones (L118) abutted the wall from the west and part of it was incorporated between the stones of the wall. Overlying the floor was a layer of fill that included collapsed basalt stones and gray soil, which contained numerous fragments of pottery vessels (not drawn) and a coin (below, No. 12) that dated to the Mamluk period (thirteenth–fourteenth centuries CE).
A wall (W15), oriented east–west and ascribed to Stratum I, was exposed in the southwestern corner of the square. Wall 15, preserved two courses high, was built of basalt fieldstones and founded on top of Floor 118. A floor of small stones (L116) abutted the northern side of W15. Overlying the floor was a fill that composed the surface layer and consisted of dark gray and pale yellow soil, which contained a large amount of modern debris and potsherds from the Mamluk and Ottoman periods. It therefore seems that these remains belonged to the Ottoman period.
Seventeen coins, five of which are unidentifiable, were found. The breakdown of the remaining twelve coins follows:
1. Basket 1015, Locus 110, IAA 106141.
Umayyad (eighth century CE).
2. Basket 1044, Locus 112, IAA 106146.
Al-Adil I (1199–1218 CE), Damascus.
3. Basket 1043, Locus 112, IAA No. 106145.
Al-Nasir Nasir al-Din Mohamed, the third reign (1310–1341 CE), Damascus.
4. Basket 1040, Locus 112, IAA No. 106143 (Fig. 7).
Al-Nasir Nasir al-Din Mohamed, the third reign (1310–1341 CE).
Obv.:النا[صر] \ [المنصور]
Rev.: Six-pointed hat in which a flower with six petals is discerned.
Æ fals, 2.06 grams, 13 mm.
Balog 1964, No. 257.
5. Basket 1033, Locus 113, IAA 106142.
6. Basket 1042, Locus 117, IAA 106144.
7. Basket 1017, Surface level, no IAA No. assigned
8. Basket 1016, Locus 100, no IAA No. assigned.
9. Basket 1001, Locus 101, no IAA No. assigned.
10. Basket 1005, Locus 104, no IAA No. assigned.
11. Basket 1034, Locus 112, no IAA No. assigned.
12. Basket 1060, Locus 118, no IAA No. assigned.