During October 2003 a salvage excavation was conducted in Qibbuz Sedot Yam, east of ancient Caesarea (Permit No. A-4011*; map ref. NIG 19040–55/71105–20; OIG 14040–55/21105–20). The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by Qibbuz Sedot Yam, was directed by K. Sa‘id, with the assistance of A. Hajian (surveying), Y. Porath (scientific guidance), M. Shuiskaya-Arnov (pottery drawing) and T. Sagiv (photography).
An area (75 sq m; Fig. 1) opened east of the Roman theater in Caesarea revealed an ashlar-built wall (W126; 30 × 35 × 60 cm; preserved length 9 m), founded on a layer of brown soil and preserved three courses high; its orientation was southeast–northwest. Attached to the wall in the east was another wall (W125) of ashlar stones (preserved length 3.5 m), preserved three courses high. These walls seem to have been part of the agricultural system that encircled the city of Caesarea, possibly the foundations of fences built of masonry stones, which enclosed cultivation plots. Although sand dunes surround Caesarea and are not considered fertile soil, arability was improved with sorted urban refuse that included organic matter and a few potsherds. It was also augmented by an irrigation system that distributed water pumped from wells, as evidenced by fragments of saqiye vessels (Fig. 2:8–10).
The distribution of water in the field was achieved by a channel, a short segment of which was exposed (L130). The channel was built of masonry stones in secondary use and coated on both sides with an irregular layer of plaster.
The ceramic finds included fragments of red-slipped bowls (Late Roman C; Fig. 2:1–4) and jars (Fig. 2:5–7) that dated to the fifth–seventh centuries CE.