During January 2005, a trial excavation was conducted at 9 Katznelson Street, Ramla (Permit No. A-4356*; map ref. NIG 187700-800/649375-425; OIG 137700-800/149375-425), prior to construction activities. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by A. Lego, with assistance from E. Bachar (administration), V. Essman and V. Pirsky (surveying), T. Sagiv (field photography), M. Shuiskaya (pottery drawing) and A. Re’em (publication).
An excavation square was opened in which two phases of building remains that dated to the eighth–ninth centuries CE were exposed (Figs. 1, 2).
The later phase included sections of crushed and tamped chalk floors with charcoal inclusions that abutted both sides (Loci 106, 106A) of a wall (W107). Wall 107 (0.5 × 1.8 m; height 0.2 m) was founded on sand and oriented along east–west. All that remained of the wall was its core, made of small fieldstones and light gray bonding material, and its robber trench.
Some 30 cm below the floors of the late phase an earlier gray-plaster floor level (L108, L108A) was exposed; here also sections of floors abutted either side of W107. The excavation was not continued below these floor levels.
The excavation of the fill between the two floor levels on the northern side of W107 (L104) yielded pottery vessels that dated to the end of the eighth–beginning of the ninth centuries CE, among them a green-glazed bowl (Fig. 3:1), a plain bowl (Fig. 3:2), a krater decorated with a combed pattern (Fig. 3:3) and a fragment of a soft limestone vessel (Fig. 3:4). According to these finds, the upper floor (L106) did not predate the beginning of the ninth century CE, and the lower floor (L108) was slightly earlier than the upper one.
It should be noted that building remains from the eighth–ninth centuries CE had previously been exposed nearby (HA-ESI 109:66*) and remains from the Abbasid period were found adjacent to the railroad tracks (Permit Nos. A-4672, A-4768). Thus the findings of the current excavation complement those discovered in another section of Ramla in the Abbasid period.