The remains of the neighborhood from the ninth century CE were built in an area that was not inhabited beforehand. The neighborhood’s houses were built on a layer of pebbles, clay and Roman-period potsherds, probably erosion from a nearby settlement. Remains of walls preserved two courses high were exposed (Fig. 2). Several concentrations of collapse were discovered and it seems that the houses were not built of stone. The uncovered walls might be stone foundations of mud-brick walls. It therefore seems that this neighborhood, which was situated on the outskirts of the city, was inhabited by poor people during the period when Tiberias was at the height of its prosperity.
No proper streets were laid out between the houses of the neighborhood that seems to have developed spontaneously. This contrasts the findings from other excavations in Tiberias where proper town planning was discerned and the houses were built of stone. The floors of the buildings consisted of tamped earth. Sections of irregular pavement of basalt slabs, which were apparently utilized as work surfaces (Fig. 3), were discovered. Circular pits (depth c. 2 m; Fig. 4) lined with fieldstone walls and without a built floor were dug in the courtyards of the houses. It seems that the residents of the quarter used them as cesspits and toilets. Two granaries were exposed. One was elliptical and its walls were lined with fieldstones (depth 1.4 m; Fig. 5). The other was rectangular (depth in excess of 2.6 m; Fig. 6) and located next to the entrance in the corner of a courtyard; it was covered with long basalt slabs that were positioned widthwise, next to each other. Numerous pottery vessels of the tenth century CE were discovered in the two granaries and it seems that they were used for storage rather than as cesspits like the rest of the pits in the courtyards. Remains of a large building (Fig. 7) were exposed in the north. Although it was probably built of mud bricks, it was evidently better planned and was larger and more spacious than the other buildings. A large courtyard surrounded by rooms was in the center of the building. Channels located inside the structure drained water to cisterns that were not excavated. The building, apparently established in an uninhabited area, was therefore quite roomy.
Meager artifacts were discovered in the houses and it seems that the structures were abandoned in an orderly manner and their inhabitants took all of their property with them. The houses in the west of the neighborhood were finally deserted in the late tenth or early eleventh centuries CE. Part of the neighborhood was damaged by a torrential flood that washed away the buildings and created new flow channels in the tenth century CE. It is unclear if the western part of the city was abandoned due to the flood or as a result of other events.
Two broad walls (width 2 m; Fig. 8) that delineated the western side of the neighborhood were revealed at the western end of the excavation. One of the walls was partly built on top of the other, evidence that they were constructed in two phases. The walls in this section were built above the remains of the city’s houses and negated their use (Fig. 9). In the north, the walls diverged and no architectural remains were found (Fig. 10). Two stone-lined channels bisected the walls (Fig. 11) and descended west, outside the city. The walls were built of roughly hewn stones and fieldstones; the size of the walls resembled that of fortifications; however, their foundations were very shallow and atypical of city walls. The walls were apparently built in the tenth century CE. There are no known fortifications from this period in Tiberias. The walls might have served to protect the neighborhood from flooding.
The buildings in the east of the neighborhood were better constructed; their walls were composed of stones and steps led up to their roofs. A richer assemblage of artifacts was uncovered in these buildings and they existed until the second half of the eleventh century CE. Another flood occurred in that century but the buildings were apparently not damaged because they were away from the flow of the flood waters. Tiberias expanded in the tenth and eleventh centuries CE and reached its greatest size in antiquity. Hammat, which up until this time was an independent city, was also included within its precincts, and the city now extended from south of Hammat to as far north as the municipal park. Virtually, the entire city was abandoned during the second half of the eleventh century CE and it was reduced to the area of the ‘Old City’. The area in the eastern part of the municipal park was also deserted in this phase. It seems that the fortifications surrounding the city at the end of the eleventh century CE were used in the Crusader period. With the construction of the fortifications, the neighborhood remained outside the city limits, a situation that continued until the twentieth century CE.
A built and plastered pool was revealed at the northwestern end of the excavation (Fig. 12). It apparently postdated the neighborhood that was excavated and might date to the Ottoman period, when the municipal park was situated outside the city limits.