The Early Stratum. A wall (W120; Figs. 3, 4), oriented north–south and preserved three courses high, was exposed in Sq B1. The two bottom courses were built of ashlars whereas the upper course consisted of medium-sized fieldstones on the western side and smaller fieldstones on the eastern side. The wall’s foundation courses were not exposed due to technical limitations. The bottom course of ashlars was abutted from the west by a foundation or floor (L137) of sand, charcoal whitish plaster fragments and jar fragments, some of which dated to the Umayyad period. The northern part of the wall had settled in the ground more than the southern part and therefore the top of the wall was lower in the north than in the south. It was also noted that the wall slanted toward the west. East of W120, in Sqs A2 and B2, clay soil that contained fewer potsherds, without any building remains, was discovered and it therefore seems that this area was outside the building perimeter.
A refuse pit (L116; Fig. 5) was exposed in Sq C8; it contained a fill consisting of coarse sand mixed with fragments of baggy-shaped jars, medium fieldstones and tiny fieldstones similar to gravel.
A section of a light gray plaster floor (L111; Fig. 6), probably dating to the Umayyad period, was exposed in Sq G6. Below Floor 111 was another plaster floor (L134) that probably also dated to the Umayyad period, albeit to an earlier phase. Other floors similar to Floor 111 were discovered in Sq H7.
The Late Phase. Soil fills (L112, L118, L125, L127, L129) and plaster floors (L106, L108; thickness 0.10–0.15 m) dating to the Abbasid period were discovered in Sqs G6/7 and H6/7. Some of the floors sloped toward the north (Fig. 7).
A light gray foundation of a floor from the Early Islamic period (L105, L119; see Fig. 5) was exposed in Sq C8, on a level c. 1 m above the refuse pit of the early phase.
A poorly preserved foundation (Ll04; Fig. 8), made of whitish mortar and small fieldstones, was exposed in Sq B5. It seems that this foundation was dug into sterile clay soil (L115); the date of the foundation is not known.
Most of the pottery discovered in the excavation dates to the Abbasid period and a small number of potsherds date to the Umayyad period. Unlike the pottery vessels, it was discerned that the clay lamps in the excavation dated mainly to the Umayyad period and only several are from the Abbasid period.
The ceramic finds from the Umayyad period included a jug of brown clay decorated with a white wash (Fig. 9:1), a Bet She’an jar with remains of a white wash on its shoulder, dating to the eighth century CE (Fig. 9:2), a jar of brown clay with a high rim (Fig. 9:3), baggy-shaped jars (Fig. 9:4, 5) and a Gaza jar (Fig. 9:6).
The ceramic finds from the Abbasid period included a bowl with a flaring rim and remains of glaze on its inside (Fig. 9:7), a bowl with a plain everted rim, glazed green on the inside and outside (Fig. 9:8), a bowl base, glazed yellow on the inside and outside and decorated green (Fig. 9:9), a kerbschnitt bowl rim decorated with carved triangles (Fig. 9:10), a rim of a large thick-walled bowl (Fig. 9:11), a casserole (Fig. 9:12), a small casserole (Fig. 9:13), a casserole lid (Fig. 9:14), a lid (Fig. 9:15), buff-ware jug rims (Fig. 9:16, 17), a buff-ware jug base (Fig. 9:18), a rim of a large buff-ware jug (Fig. 9:19), a triple handle fragment of a buff ware jug (Fig. 9:20), a jar (Fig. 9:21) and a fragment of an incised roof tile (Fig. 9:22), which G. Mazor has suggested might be a potter’s mark.
The lamps from the Umayyad period include two mold-made Samaritan lamps (Fig. 10:1, 2) that first appear at the end of the sixth century CE and are common in the Umayyad period (Haddad 2002:74–78, Type 32). The fill hole in these lamps resembles a horseshoe. The channel between the filling hole and the wick hole on one lamp (Fig. 10:1) is decorated with an equilateral triangle that has a dot in it, and is connected at its apex to a double circle that also has a prominent dot in it. The channel between the filling hole and the wick hole in the second lamp (Fig. 10:2) is wide and decorated with triangular patterns, and the sides of the lamp are adorned with floral motifs of palms fronds. Another lamp from this period (Fig. 10:3) has a large knob handle and is decorated on both sides with a floral motif, probably palm fronds. The division of the decoration is evident on the side of the lamp; hence, it too seems to belong to Type 32 at Bet She’an. Three other lamp fragments from the Umayyad period were discovered (Fig. 10:4–6). The lamps from the Abbasid period include two intact almond-shaped lamps with a handle (Fig. 11:1, 2), which are common in the Abbasid period; one is decorated with geometric patterns (Fig. 11:1) and the other is ornamented with floral designs (Fig. 11:2). A third lamp is adorned with a reticulated pattern of small squares (Fig. 11:3) that occurs only in the Abbasid period.
The architectural finds in the excavation area were meager; yet the quantity of pottery fragments was considerable and they date to the Early Islamic period, and particularly to the Abbasid period (ninth–tenth centuries CE). What is puzzling is that among the lamps the most common items are actually the ones dating to the Umayyad period and not those of the Abbasid period. Fragments of glass vessels that mainly date to the Abbasid period and early Fatimid period (tenth–eleventh centuries CE) were also discovered in the excavation. Animal bones and a scant amount of metallic items were also found. It seems that the site was located along the northern fringes of an extensive industrial region from the Early Islamic period which was previously discovered at the site.
Archaeozoological Finds
Moshe Sadeh
Animal bones from the Umayyad and Abbasid periods were discovered; the bones from the Abbasid period are only those of domesticated animals and belong to sheep/goat (Ovis aries/Capra hircus), cattle (Bos taurus), dromedary camel (Camelus dromedaries) and domestic chicken (Gallus gallus domestica). The finds from both periods are meager and insufficient to analyze the settlement’s livestock.