During February 2011, a salvage excavation was conducted in the Sheikh Jarrah quarter, c. 150 m southwest of the Shimon Ha-Zadik compound in Jerusalem (Permit No. A-6099; map ref. 221820/633160), after a rock-hewn side of the bedrock was damaged during development work. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by Salam Mansur and Kamal Avidat, was directed by Z. ‘Adawi, with the assistance of A. Hajian and M. Kunin (surveying), D. Levy (GPS), A. Peretz (field photography), S. Al-‘Amlah (metal detection), B. Touri (antiquities inspection) and D. Sandhouse-Re’em (pottery reading).
The excavation, c. 1 km north of the Old City (Fig. 1), is located in a region where burial caves, quarries and rock-hewn installations have been excavated and surveyed (A. Kloner 2001. Survey of Jerusalem, The Northeastern Sector : 104–105, Sites 245, 247, 249).
Two hewn sides in hard limestone bedrock that formed an acute angle were exposed (Fig. 2). The western side (length c. 4 m, height 2.2 m) was partly exposed during development work prior to the excavation. The southern side (length c. 3 m, height 2.2 m) was exposed in its entirety. A square recess (length 1.5 m, height 1.5 m, depth 0.5 m; Figs. 2, 3) that had an asymmetric opening at the bottom (0.4×0.6 m) was hewn in the bedrock southern side. It was difficult to determine whether the opening is natural or if it is the beginning of a rock-hewn cavity that was not finished.
Scant finds were recovered from the excavation, mostly not in situ and probably brought over with alluvium from the south. The finds contained several potsherds dating to the first–fourth centuries CE, as well as an illegible coin that was found in the fill against the bottom of the southern side.