In December 2007, a trial excavation was conducted at 34 Shmuel Tamir Street in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of Jerusalem (Permit No. A-5312; map ref. 222301/636499), prior to the construction of residential buildings. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by A. Landes-Nagar, with the assistance of Y. Ohayon (administration), M. Kipnis (surveying), T. Sagiv (photography), E. Belashov (plans) and N. Ze’evi (archival photographs).
The excavation was carried out southeast of Tell el-Ful, on a spur descending to the northwest (Fig. 1). Two squares (48 sq m) were opened, exposing a stone quarry (L100) and two hewn pits (L101, L102; Figs. 2, 3). It was not possible to date them based on the ceramic finds.
The trial excavation preceded a salvage excavation (Nagar 2014
), which was conducted slightly to its east.
Previously, remains including tombs, installations and quarries dating to the late First Temple period and the Roman and Byzantine periods, were uncovered (Baruch 2000
), c. 30 m west of the current excavation.
The stone quarry was hewn in soft chalk; severance channels and rock-cut walls were discerned, from which variously-sized building stones were produced. The quarry continued further east, beyond the limits of the excavation.
The two pits (L101: 0.50 × 0.85 m, depth 0.3 m; L102: 0.55 × 1.00 m, depth 0.35 m) were rectangular and were integrated into the southern part of the quarry.
The pits revealed in the excavation join seven other pits that were discovered to the east of the salvage excavation. They were apparently intended for use as burial cave shafts; however, their quarrying was never completed. Judging by the number of shafts discovered in the two excavations and their distribution over a small area, it would appear that this is a burial ground. The location of the pits/shafts around the quarry indicates that they were installed after the quarry was no longer in use.