The east part of the excavation area yielded an Iron Age II courtyard house was unearthed (Mizrahi et al. 2018
:202–205). The west part of the excavation area yielded a limekiln (Figs. 2, 3). It comprised a round firing chamber (L12; diam. 4.7 m, max. height 3 m), a stoke hole, a ventilation tunnel (L17) and a circular wall (W2). The firing chamber was filled with stones, some of which were burnt, possibly roofing stones that collapsed into the chamber when the kiln fell into disuse. The stoke hole faced west; two construction phases were evident on its south side: in the first phase, a wall (W20; length 2.5 m, width 0.45 m, max. height 1.4 m) was incorporated in W2, the kiln’s circular wall; in the second phase, a wall (W19; length 2.9 m, width 0.8 m, max. height 1.3 m) was built to abut W20 of the first phase (Fig. 4).
The ventilation tunnel (L17; length 1.5 m, height 1.1 m, width 0.9 m; Fig. 5) was built in the kiln’s wall and faced southwest. Its walls were constructed of four courses of medium-sized fieldstones, each one stone wide, and it was roofed with large stone slabs; the latter were preserved only in the part built in the kiln’s wall. The walls of the tunnel evidently extended into the firing chamber and were built on the kiln floor, which was only partially excavated.
Production debris was discovered around the kiln, except near the stoke hole—numerous piles of variously sized stones, some of which were burnt and mixed with iron oxides, as well as a large quantity of ash (Fig. 6). The debris to the east of the kiln covered parts of the Iron Age II courtyard house unearthed in the eastern part of the excavation.
No diagnostic finds were recovered from the kiln. The debris contained a fragment of Hand-Made Geometric Painted Ware jar (Fig. 7), which was common from the Crusader to the Ottoman periods. It may be a chance find, yet it may also indicate that the kiln was in operation during the Late Islamic period. Limekilns with similar features, dated to the Ottoman period, were excavated at Kh. Khatula, near Sha‘ar Ha-Gay (Radashkovsky 2015b
), at Ramat Bet Shemesh D (Radashkovsky 2015a
), at Ramat Bet Shemesh C (Storchan 2012a
; Storchan 2012b
) and at Newe Ya‘aqov in Jerusalem (Be’eri 2012
). It therefore seems likely that this kiln dates from the same period.