Lime Pit. a rectangular lime pit (L101; exposed length 3.5 m, width 2 m, preserved depth 1.1 m), aligned east–west, was exposed in Square B. The upper part of the pit was dug with the aid of mechanical equipment to a depth of 0.62 m below surface and the bottom part was manually excavated. The sides of the pit were covered with a thin layer of lime and its floor was a thick layer of lime. The pit was filled up with dark brown soil that contained chunks of lime and modern construction debris. It seems that the lime pit was used in the construction of one of the nearby buildings that were erected during the time of the British Mandate (HA-ESI 111:136, Fig. 208).
Stone Clusters. Four clusters (L106, L116–L118) of different size kurkar fieldstones, some of which were slightly dressed (0.06×0.13×0.14–0.10×0.20×0.35 m), were exposed in the upper soil layer, which is a dark gray sandy clayey level that contained numerous fragments of pottery vessels. Mechanical equipment exposed the continuation of Cluster 118 (L123; not drawn), 4 m south of Square A; it contained kurkar stones, some of which were affixed with gray plaster, and chunks of plaster that had one smooth surface. Clusters 106 and 116 were lying on a layer of sand (L113; depth 0.45 m) in whose upper part were a few potsherds, including a locally produced red-slipped carinated bowl that imitates Assyrian bowls and is dated to Iron Age IIIB (seventh century BCE; Fig. 3:1).
The ceramic artifacts recovered from the upper ground layer included a mortarium base from the Persian period (sixth–fourth centuries BCE; Fig. 3:2), a late type Attic bowl and a slipped bowl (fourth–third centuries BCE; Fig. 3:3, 4), a Rhodian amphora from the Hellenistic period (probably the third century CE; Fig. 3:5) and another amphora that probably also dates to this period (Fig. 3:6), a bag-shaped store jar (end of the first–beginning of the second centuries CE; Fig. 3:7), an ointment dish (?; first or second centuries CE; Fig. 3:8; Hershkovitz M. 1986. Miniature Ointment Vases from the Second Temple Period. IEJ 36:45–51; Type A), a Cypriot Sigillata-type krater (beginning of the second century CE; Fig. 3:9), a krater (Fig. 3:10), an amphora (Fig. 3:11) and a Gaza jar (Fig. 3:12), all three from the Roman period (second–third centuries CE), a Gaza jar from the Byzantine period (sixth–seventh centuries CE; Fig. 3:13) and a ‘Gaza ware’ jar dating to the Ottoman period (Fig. 3:14).
Three stamped amphora handles that belong to the Rhodian class were discovered in Square A (L120, L122; the reading of the handles follow Finkielsztejn G. 2001. Chronologie détailée et revisée des éponyms amphoriques rhodiens de 270 à 108 av. J.-C. environ. Premier bilan [BAR Int. S. 990]. Oxford. Pp. 213–216). The first impression is a rectangular stamp that bears the name of the eponym GÒrgwn (’EpˆGÒr/gènoς/Dal…ou) who officiated in c. 154/153 BCE. The second is a rectangular stamp that bears the fabricant name of Mšnwn (Mšnwnoj/Θεσμοφορί[ου]) who was active in the penultimate decade of the third century BCE. The third impression is also a rectangular stamp that bears a fabricant name, which cannot be satisfactorily restored. The handle’s angular profile points to a date in the second century BCE.
A special find is an elongated handmade clay object of red-slipped buff ware (Fig. 4). Its base is wide with a perforated hole in the center and its upper end is concave. It apparently served as a foot of a vessel. The date of the object is unclear, but it is probably from the Iron Age.
Five coins were found, three of which were identified: a Hasmonean coin (134–37 BCE; IAA 119532), a Herodian coin (37–4 BCE; IAA 119534) and a coin that dates to the fifth–middle of sixth centuries CE (IAA 119533).
The clusters of stones stem, most likely from the collapse of a building or installation that has not yet been exposed