Wall (W19; length 4.5 m, width 1.2 m, height 2.7 m, average size of stones 0.30–0.50 × 0.40–0.65 m; Figs. 3, 4). The wall was built of dry construction comprising two rows of large fieldstones with stone and soil fill in between. The wall was preserved to a height of nine courses and was founded on bedrock. A layer of light brown soil fill mixed with various-sized stones (L951; not in the plan) was excavated just northwest of the wall’s northern face. The fill originated most probably from the collapsed wall and from alluvium that accumulated alongside it after its construction. The fill yielded pottery sherds from the Iron II, including bowls (Fig. 5:2–4) and a jar (Fig. 5:5), and from the Early Roman period (first century CE, until the year 70), including cooking pots (Fig. 5:7–9), jars (Fig. 5:10, 11) and a flask (Fig. 5:12). A body sherd of a cooking jug dating to the Early Roman period (first century CE, until the year 70; Fig. 5:13) was discovered in a probe excavated in the core of the wall (L952; not in the plan). Other finds that could not be dated include three small metal nails and an unidentified object. The abovementioned soil section was cleaned on the eastern side of the wall. Several strata were discerned in this fill. The first stratum, on the bottom (L901; thickness 0.2–0.4 m; Fig. 2: Section 1–1), was terra rossa soil in which W19 was built. The second stratum (L902; thickness 2 m) consisted of gray fill and white layers. The third stratum was gray fill, similar to that of the second stratum, swept down to the top of the wall from the surface of the modern cemetery.
The channel was identified at the southern end of the soil section and c. 9 m from W19. It had a U-shaped cross-section (lower width 0.5 m, upper width 0.7 m, height 0.5 m; Figs. 2: Section 1–1; 6) and was built of large and small fieldstones. The gradient sloped east, following the incline of the slope, and was coated with white lime plaster. A ledge (width 0.5 m) was fashioned at the top of the channel; a ledge on the southern side of the channel was destroyed during work conducted prior to the excavation. The channel was founded on a layer of very small fieldstones placed directly on bedrock (L911; thickness 0.15 m; size of stones 0.05–0.15 × 0.05–0.15 m; Fig. 7). A single fragment of a cooking pot dating to the Hellenistic period (late second century–first century BCE; Fig. 5:6) was discovered in this substrate. In a later phase a small partition (width and height 0.15 m) was installed inside the channel, dividing it into two parts through which water flowed. The partition was treated with the same plaster as the channel. The fill covering the channel (L900) contained fragments of a wide variety of pottery vessels and from a number of periods, among them Iron II bowls, kraters, cooking pots, jars and jugs, (Fig. 5:1), Late Hellenistic–Hasmonean (not drawn), and Early Roman (first century CE, to the year 70, not drawn).
The excavation was limited in scope and conducted at the edge of the cemetery. It included cleaning a soil section and a small probe close to W19. An active cemetery is located at the top of the section, north and west of the wall and channel; hence it was not possible to enlarge the excavation and dig the soil fill systematically. Apart from a small area close to the northwestern face of the wall and the fills above it, all of the ceramic finds were removed by hand from the soil sections rather than from vertical excavating, thus making it difficult to date the wall. Presumably, the wall was agricultural in nature and was meant to create a terrace. It might also have included an engineering aspect, having been designed to retain the fill to the northwest in order to shape the contour of the slope. Walls of this kind or similar ones were previously excavated at the foot of the slope (‘Adawi 2005
The western face of the remains uncovered in the excavation was not revealed and probably lies beneath the cemetery’s soil sections. Even though their original width and length could not be ascertained, the two remains, in a location accessible to the city’s residents, nevertheless seem to suggest these are public construction projects (for similar finds, see ‘Adawi 2010). It is definitely possible that the channel was constructed in the Hellenistic period and the wall was built following the Herodian period, after the city had expanded to its greatest extent (Kloner 2003:32*–43*). The momentum of development probably continued into the subsequent period around what are today the city walls, as evident in the construction of a residential quarter south of the excavation area; in the preparation of nearby burial caves during the Byzantine period (Shukron and Reich 1999); in the establishment of a large monastery to the southeast, in Nahal Qidron (Seligman 2010a; 2010b); and in at least one of the aforementioned construction projects.
Although only a small segment of the channel was exposed, it was possible to determine its composition and construction method. The channel was intended to supply water for drinking or for irrigating nearby fields. The bifurcation of the carrier by building a partition inside it is a rare phenomenon. A diverse assemblage of finds dating from Iron II, Late Hellenistic-Hasmonean period and Early Roman period (
first century CE, to the year 70) was discovered inside the channel
. The finds were swept into it from the west, from further upslope. The only find discovered below the bottom of the channel suggests that it was probably constructed in the Hellenistic period (late second century–first century BCE). The channel conveyed water from south to the north, following the gradient of the slope. It may have brought water from the direction of the Pool of Bethesda, also known as the Sheep Pool, near Lions Gate, or from the Pool of Israel near the Temple Mount, or from some other unknown source of water. The water flowed northeast, toward Nahal Kidron, to irrigate the agricultural plots along the slopes and in the valley below. Another channel, from a later period, was exposed in the gas station across from the Rockefeller Museum, c. 200 m north of the channel uncovered near the cemetery. While situated at a higher level, it does indicate that there were areas in the region where crops were grown (De‘adle 2009).