In June 2014–June 2015, an excavation was conducted along the western part of a paved street from the Byzantine period that ascends from the western slope of the City of David to the Davidson Archaeological Garden (Permit No. A-7288; map ref. 222327-32/631338-61), prior to preparing the site for visitors. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Ir David Foundation, was directed by M. Hagbi and J. Uziel, with the assistance of N. Nahama (administration), V. Essman and Y. Shmidov (surveying and drafting), D. Tanami (metal detection), A. Peretz (field photography), Y. Gorin-Rosen (glass), D.T. Ariel (numismatics), G. Berkowitz and A. Ajami (foremen and logistics), N. Nathanel and B. Cohen (safety), A. Koren (engineering), J. Sheffer (conservation engineer) and I. Novoselesky (wet sieving in the Zurim Valley).
Early Roman Period. Soil fills that covered stone collapse related to the destruction of the city at the end of the Second Temple period were revealed on the northeastern side of the excavation. A layer of tamped gray soil that served as the foundation of a street from the Second Temple period was discovered below the stone collapse. The paving stones of this street were not found, and they may have been dismantled during the Late Roman period after some of the stone collapse was moved.
Late Roman Period. The eastern face of a retaining wall built north–south (height c. 3 m; Fig. 3) was exposed in the northern part of the excavation, above the stone collapse from the end of the Second Temple period. Soil fills mixed with pottery sherds ranging in date from the Early Roman period to the Byzantine period were found east of the wall. The wall was sealed by the street from the Byzantine period.
Byzantine Period. Four additional meters of the Byzantine-period paved street (width c. 2.5 m) were uncovered. The street was constructed of variously sized limestone slabs (0.3 × 0.3–0.5 × 0.8 m) along a general north–south axis; the pavers were worn from use. None of the street’s paving stones were found in the northern two meters of the excavation area; in their place was a level of tamped earth that apparently postdates the Byzantine street and may be part of the Early Islamic-period dirt road. Below the tamped soil was the street’s foundation, including a retaining wall (W9) and a drainage channel (L298; Fig. 4), built across the breadth of the street.
Early Islamic Period. A dirt road running north–south was exposed above the paved street from the Byzantine period, consisting of several levels of tamped soil dating to the Early Islamic period. The dirt road sealed the paved Byzantine street and was a continuation of it. Stone slabs covering a drainage channel (L255) that ran east–west were exposed in the middle of the excavation area; apparently, the channel severed the paved Byzantine street widthwise (Fig. 5). The soil levels adjoined the top of the covering slabs of the drainage channel on both sides. These covering slabs were dismantled from the northern part of the Byzantine street and were used to cover the channel. It seems that Channel 255 was built together with the dirt road, indicating that it dates to the Early Islamic period. The dirt road was delimited on its western side by low walls.
A section of the southern face of a high stone foundation (W10; width 3.5 m, height c. 6 m; Fig. 6) was exposed along the entire northern balk of the excavation. It was constructed of courses of large stones with smaller stones in between. The foundation severed the dirt road and the paved Byzantine street, thereby dating the foundation to the Islamic period or later.
Hagbi M. and Uziel J. 2015a. Jerusalem, City of David (B). HA-ESI 127
Hagbi M. and Uziel J. 2015b. The City of David in the Byzantine Period: A View from the Paved Street. City of David Studies of Ancient Jerusalem 10. Jerusalem. Pp. 19–30 (Hebrew).