During August 2004 a salvage excavation was conducted on Salah a-Din Street in Jerusalem (Permit No. A-4235; map ref. NIG 22190–1/16326; OIG 17190–1/11326), following the installation of a sewage pipe. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by D.A. Sklar-Parness, with the assistance of A. De Groot (area supervision), R. Abu-Khalaf (administration), T. Kornfeld, A. Hajian, V. Pirsky and V. Essman (surveying) and T. Sagiv (field photography).
Two areas were opened in the middle of the street, north of the Third Wall of Jerusalem, which had been studied in the past by numerous scholars.
Most of the remains were found in the southern area (3 × 27 m). The earliest was a north–south oriented section of a built road, which was parallel to the line of the existing road and a wall of ashlar stones with drafted margins, constructed widthwise across the road. Based on the ceramic and numismatic finds, the road and the wall dated to the end of the Second Temple period. These remains are connected to a gate structure in the Third Wall that was excavated by Sukenik and Mayer in the 1930s. The road is described by Josephus Flavius in The War of the Jews (5:2:2), where he tells of the first attack by Titus upon his arrival in Jerusalem. The current discovered wall was probably part of the gate blockage built by the rebels.
During the third or fourth century CE, a wall of impressive dimensions was built above these remains and was abutted by a road, which was paved on top of the earlier one. It therefore seems that an important thoroughfare continued to pass through this area during the Roman period.
Walls of a building that was constructed on top of the Roman road were attributed to the next phase, dating to the Byzantine period.
Meager retaining walls, which were meant to support agricultural stone clearance heaps from the Early Islamic period, were discovered.
Remains of an ancient quarry, devoid of any datable finds, were discovered in the northern area (3.0 × 12.5 m). Previous excavations nearby (HA-ESI 113:75*) had dated the quarry to the Roman period.