During April 2011, a survey was conducted in Jerusalem, along the route of Highway 1 (License No. S-247/2011; map ref. 21765–850/63320–450), in an area where it will be widened. The survey, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by Ehud Tayar Management and Engineering Ltd., was directed by L. Barda, with the assistance of D. Storchan.
The surveyed area is located along an extremely precipitous slope that looks out to the north and northeast, west of the Lifta village (Fig. 1). The region is covered with dense vegetation and is partially wooded, which hampered our attempt to discern the surface clearly. Ancient remains were identified in twenty-five sites (1–25), that included farming terraces, building remains, and underground cavities.
A house that dates to the Ottoman period–modern era was documented in the southeastern part of the area (Site 2); it had a cistern (Site 3; Fig. 2) in its courtyard (?), and farming terraces were found on the slope below it (Sites 1, 4–7; Fig. 3). The terraces were destroyed in several places where modern houses were built. Other farming terraces (Sites 8, 9) built of small and medium fieldstones placed on bedrock terraces were discovered northwest of these remains.
Numerous farming terraces (Sites 10–12, 14, 16, 18, 20–22, 25), architectural remains (Site 23; Fig. 4) built in the style of the houses in Lifta village and two concentrations of modern farming terraces that might be watchman’s huts (Sites 15, 17) were found in the northwestern part of the area. East of Building 23 was a concentration of dressed building stones (Site 19) that probably collapsed from this building and rolled down the slope. A concentration of dressed building stones on the slope (Site 24) that might be the remains of another building was discovered south of Building 23, near an ancient olive tree. Northwest of Building 23 was an underground cavity (Site 13). The bedrock above it and the surrounding vegetation are wet, indicating there is probably a source of water nearby.
The surveyed area was agricultural land consisting of cultivation plots, farming terraces and orchards that probably belonged to the residents of Lifta. No archaeological remains that indicate any activity prior to the Late (?) Ottoman period were discovered.