The excavation was carried out along the western fringes of a hill (380 sq m), c. 50 m west of the church compound and west of and adjacent to Aminadav Street. A cistern and the edge of a building were excavated (Figs. 1, 2).
The cistern was rectangular (9.8 × 0.7 m, overall height 5.5 m, c 150 cu m) and consisted of bedrock hewn and built parts. The bottom of the cistern was filled with sewage and not excavated. The rock-hewn part of the cistern (height 3.4 m) was lined with stone-built walls (thickness 0.3–0.4 m); the upper part was built of dressed stones
(thickness 1.9–2.4 m, height 2.1 m). The cistern’s ceiling was a barrel vault in whose apex was a square aperture (0.5 × 0.5 m) for drawing water. The entire interior of the cistern was coated with two layers of plaster. The bottom layer (thickness 1–3 cm) was rich in pink grog and the top layer (thickness 0.5–1.0 cm) had a light yellow hue. Enclosure walls (W1–W4) surrounded the cistern at a distance of 1.3–2.0 m. The walls, except for W3, founded on bedrock inside shallow channels (depth 0.3 m), were uniform and blended together (thickness 1 m, height 0.90–1.95 m, 9 courses). Walls 1, 2, 4 were built of two rows of medium-sized fieldstones, with a core of small stones and bonding material. Wall 1 abutted W3; Wall 4 was severed and may have been built as such originally. An opening in its eastern end was near bedrock. Walls 3 (length 11.5 m) and 5 (length 1.8 m) in the east, which bonded and formed a corner, were different from the other walls. They were built of two rows (thickness 0.4–0.5 m), the outer of fieldstones (0.3 × 0.4 m, height 0.3 m) and the inner of small stones. The walls were coated on the outside with pale pink plaster (thickness 0.5–1.0 cm) and continued northward and eastward respectively. Wall 6 (length 2.4 m), which abutted W3 from the south, was built of different size stones in a dry construction technique; its southern part rested against bedrock. A section of a small-stone floor (L20) was exposed south of W5 and east of W6. The southern part of the floor was supported by natural bedrock and its northern part was set on a layer of fill.
All the pottery vessels recovered from the excavation dated to the end of the Hellenistic–beginning of the Early Roman periods and the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods.
The jars, which dated to the end of the Hellenistic–beginning of the Roman periods, were found in layers of fill at the base of W3 (L13; Fig. 3:1–3); they seem to have originated from earlier activity elsewhere at the site.
Most of the pottery vessels, dating to the Byzantine–Early Islamic periods, were found above bedrock (L11) and below and above the floor (Loci 19, 20), including bowls (Fig. 3:4–10), jars (Fig. 3:11–13), an amphora (Fig. 3:14), lamps (Fig. 3:15, 16) and a roof tile (Fig. 3:17).