The building was rectangular (Fig. 1), and its walls, preserved three courses height, were constructed of two rows of dressed kurkar and a core of small stones and lime mortar. The walls of the building (width 0.8 m) were plastered on their inner face. A careful inspection of the structure’s northeastern (Fig. 2) and southeastern (Fig. 3) corners along the eastern wall showed that they protruded outward c. 0.5 m beyond the intersection of the walls (Fig. 1:1, 2; an extension that does not appear in the 1988 drawing), probably the remains of corner towers. The building’s western wall, where the entrance was fixed (width 0.9 m), was found at a distance of 0.3–2.5 m from the cliff. Judging by the size of the building and the extent of the area required for entering it safely, it was concluded that a strip of land at least 5 m wide at the edge of the cliff had collapsed since the construction of the building. Radiocarbon analyses of charcoal samples collected from the plaster on the inner face of the walls (Barkai et al. 2017) date the structure to the ninth–tenth centuries CE. Building stones, probably the corner of an earlier phase of the building or of an earlier building, could be seen protruding from the cliff facing the sea, c. 0.3 m below the level of the structure (Figs. 1:3; 4).
In the seventh century CE, shortly after the Muslim conquest, the Umayyad calif Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan began constructing coastal fortresses and observation towers (Khalilieh 2007). Tel Gador is located mid-way along this array of defensive sites, between Caesarea in the north and Tel Mikhmoret in the south. In the absence of other architectural remains, it is likely that the building served as an observation tower. Although its dimensions are small compared to other fortresses, its architectural plan—having square towers that protrude from the corners of the structure—is almost identical to the plans of known observation towers (Khalilieh 1999). The observation tower at Tel Gador may be small and of minor importance, but its location provides an excellent vantage point with a view extending into the distance.