In June–July 2016, a salvage excavation was conducted near the intersection of Rabin and Weizmann Blvds. in Jerusalem (Permit No. A-7742; map ref. 219106–10/632377–82; Fig. 1), prior to the construction of the light rail track and following damage to antiquities. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Moriah Company, was conducted by D. Gellman, with the assistance of N. Nehama (administration), A. Peretz (photography), A. Hajian (surveying) and I. Lidsky-Reznikov (pottery drawing).
The current excavation focused on a square (4.0 × 4.5 m), in which four phases were identified: a plastered rock-hewn installation, evidence of destruction of some of the installation’s plaster, construction of a wall on the bedrock and above the installation, and a modern fill above the bedrock to the north of the course of the wall and above the soil fills that extend across the entire excavation area.
In the earliest phase, an agricultural installation was unearthed (L5; 1.7 × 3.4 m; Figs. 2, 3). Its flooring was made of thick plaster (up to 7 cm thick) laid directly over the bedrock. Its southern and eastern rock-cut walls were exposed; the north wall apparently lay beyond the limits of the excavation area, and the west wall, along with the remains to its west, was destroyed during construction work prior to the excavation. The hewn walls were devoid of plaster coating. The soil deposit above the plaster floor yielded a casserole (Fig. 4:2) and a jar (Fig. 4:5) from the Roman–Byzantine period. The plaster from the second phase, c. 0.2 m away from the northern balk of the excavation, was found partly destroyed, partly beneath a field wall (W2) and partly to the north of the wall’s course, near signs of damage to the bedrock and beneath a modern soil deposit. The soil between the base of the wall and the partially destroyed plaster layer contained a goblet from the Middle Bronze Age (Fig. 4:1), a Roman-period jug (Fig. 4:3) and a jar from the Roman–Byzantine period (Fig. 4:4).
Wall 2 extended across the entire width of the excavation square, along an east–west axis (length c. 5 m, width 0.5–1.0 m) and was built of small–medium-sized fieldstones and preserved to a height of one or two courses. Most of it was founded on the bedrock; its western section (length c. 1.7 m) was laid on soil above the earlier installation.
Neither the installation nor the wall could be dated on the basis of the pottery finds.
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