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Trench J

LOCATION: the central-west part of the complex
DIMENSIONS: ca 7 x 8.5 m
INTERPRETATION: undetermined; probably the remains of non-domestic structures of the monastic/pilgrimage complex

DESCRIPTION: the excavations exposed a structure which consisted of several rooms. The occupation here was long-lasting, including modifications and attachments of walls, buttresses and installations. One of the latter was a large pithos-like jar lined up with the waterproof mortar, and a small bench-like structure. Later, the jar was filled up with lime slag refuse, apparently when the entire room was no longer in use. The other room was found filled with more than 40 000 stone tesserae of a large size, monochrome type, which are generally found everywhere at the site. Also, three water channels were found, two probably being gutters to collect water from the walls of the structure, and the third one probably for carrying water from the cistern to an unknown collecting point. Possibly, some sort of industrial activity took part in this area during the latest phases of the complex's existence.

FINDS: Nabataean ceramics (1st century B.C. - 1 st century A.D.), ceramics dated to the 4th-6th and probably 7th (Umayyad) centuries A.D., large quantities of glass fragments, coins, some fragments of decorated marble.

Text: Zbigniew T. Fiema