In November 2013, a salvage excavation was conducted under No. 2 Ha-Mekubalim St. in the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem (Permit No. A-6942; map ref. 222030–80/631368–74), preceding preparatory works for the construction of an information center for visitors to the Jewish Quarter. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem Ltd., was directed by O. Gutfeld (field photography).
The area was excavated in the years 1972–1973 by N. Avigad (Area Q; Fig. 1), who uncovered astepped miqveh from the Second Temple period (L2203), which was converted in the Byzantine period into a cistern (Geva 2017). The aim of the present excavation was to locate the opening of the cistern and to document the eastern part of the area, which was damaged in the course of the development works.
One excavation square was opened (2.5 × 4.0 m). A segment of a built water channel (length 1.5 m, width 0.7 m, depth 0.5 m) was found in its southern part. The channel was plastered with gray hydraulic plaster and covered by stone slabs (0.4 × 0.8 m average size). The channel, dated to the Second Temple period, fed the stepped miqveh discovered in Avigad’s excavation. A north–south wall was constructed over the channel to support the eastern wall of the cistern. After dismantling the stone fill of the wall in the northern part of the square, the blocking of the cistern opening was revealed. The blocking was dismantled, and the opening (diam. c. 0.9 m; Fig. 2) was cleared.
Geva H. 2017. Jewish Quarter Excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem Conducted by Nahman Avigad, 1969–1982 VII: Areas Q, H, O-2 and Other Studies; Final Report. Jerusalem.