Excavations conducted in 2007–2008 on the southern slope of Mount Zion, opposite the current excavations areas, yielded fortifications, possibly dating from the Iron Age II(?), the Hasmonean and the Byzantine periods; a quarry from the Hasmonean period; a water channel; and remains of a wall (Arbel 2009
; Zelinger 2010
). A 2014 excavation c. 30 west of the excavation unearthed remains of a quarry that probably dates from the time of Herod (Weigmann 2015
Western Area (Fig. 2). Severance channels hewn in the bedrock (Fig. 3) just southwest of the excavation area are the remains of a stone quarry. The excavation in the western area was conducted in order to ascertain if the rock-cuttings extended northward. A rectangular installation (L5; 0.4 × 0.8 m; Fig. 4) was unearthed in the west of the excavation area; its western side was delimited by three small upright stones, while it was delimited on the north and east by high bedrock protuberances. The installation extended southward beneath a large boulder, and thus its excavation could not be completed. Judging by the shape of the installation, it may have been a pit grave that was disturbed during the course of infrastructure work. No finds were discovered in it, and no other rock-cuttings or ancient remains were discovered in the excavation.
Eastern Area (Fig. 5). Pipes for electric cables were recently installed in the middle of the excavation area. Remains of a quarry (L8; 1.1 × 4.1 m, depth 1.5 m; Figs. 6, 7) that included indications of hewn stones and severance channels were found in the eastern part of the area. Four quarrying steps were discerned, the lowest situated at the northwestern end of the quarry and the highest at its southeastern end. The quarry probably extended eastward, beyond the limits of the excavation. An assortment of ceramic finds dating to the Iron Age II, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Early Islamic and Ottoman periods, as well as the modern era, were discovered in the soil accumulations overlying the quarry; these mixed finds were of no aid in dating the quarry.
A rectangular installation (L3; 0.7 × 1.5 m; Fig. 8) that included two parallel walls, in the east and west, built of small and medium-sized stones was discovered a few centimeters below the surface in the northwest of the area. The installation was sealed with medium-sized covering stones. The installation, possibly a pit grave, was not excavated. Two small, upright stones (L6; Fig. 9), apparently the remains of a wall of another disturbed installation (tomb?), were exposed c. 0.6 m east of Installation 3. East of the two upright stones and below them were remains of a quarry (L7; 0.8 × 1.5 m; Fig. 9) that included chisel marks and severance channels hewn in the bedrock.
The Quarry remains exposed in the excavation should be dated to the time of Herod based on the dating of a quarry previously revealed c. 30 m to the west (Weigmann 2015
). Above the quarry were the remains of three installations, possibly pit graves. The date of the installations could not be determined; however, it is certain that they postdate the quarries.