Two fieldstone-built terrace walls (W4, W9), aligned north–south, were exposed in the upper part of Section 11. The outer face of W9 (preserved height 2 m) was slightly inclined, pointing to its use as a terrace wall. A pit dating to the end of the Second Temple period, which contained a large amount of bones and pottery vessels, was exposed west of the wall. The pit severed part of the wall that was excavated into the fills located to its west. The fills included mainly pottery from the end of the Iron Age. The two walls were built on a layer of fill from the end of Iron Age II. It seems that these walls postdated the Iron Age II.
A square excavated shaft (2×2 m) was identified east of W9; it severed all of the layers and reached the southern side of the fortified passage (W109). The shaft was identified as Shaft Q that Parker had dug (Vincent 2008
: Pl. VI). Several layers of fill dating to the Second Temple period and Iron Age II and III were identified further along the slope to the east. The excavation reached the bedrock and exposed a number of steep bedrock steps, on several of which were potsherds from Middle Bronze Age IIB.
Modern items were exposed in the area north of Section 11, among them a terrace wall (W16) and a stone clearance heap on the top of the northern wall of the fortified passage (W108), which was built of large boulders (1×2 m Fig. 4). Sometimes, a layer of brown soil separated the modern items from the top of the wall. The southern wall of the fortified passage (W109) was preserved to a lower height.
The exposure of Terrace Wall 100 (Fig. 5) continued along the western bank of Nah
al Qidron, parts of which were excavated in the past (Reich and Shukron 2003
). Three construction phases, probably a result of it having been renovated, were discerned in the wall; except for the tops of the stones, the earliest and most extensive phase has not yet been exposed. The second phase, from the Second Temple period, was neatly built (width 2 m) and probably used as a retaining wall. Previously, a wall was found parallel to this wall (see Reich and Shukron 2003
) and it seems that their function was to divert the flow in the Qidron channel in the Second Temple period. In the third phase, from the Late Roman period, it was built as a terrace wall (width c. 0.5 m) inclined to the west. A layer of white plaster between the first phase and the second phase was exposed west of this wall, at its southern end (see Fig. 5). Layers of alluvium that filled the course of the channel were excavated east of the wall. Installation 106 was excavated west of W100 (Figs. 6, 7); it was built of fieldstones, whose interior was coated with reddish mud plaster. The installation was constructed on the boulder collapse of the Spring Tower from the Middle Bronze Age, which was located two meters to its west. A layer of white lime and numerous chunks of charcoal affixed to it were discovered above the floor of the installation. In addition to these, burnt pieces of limestone, fractured as a result of the heat, were exposed. It seems that this was a lime pit with an upper opening, which was dug into the soil fill that had accumulated west of the terrace wall. The pit was sealed by a layer of red soil of a habitation level from the Late Roman period. The pottery inside the pit was mostly from the Iron Age; however, potsherds dating to the Second Temple were found throughout the entire depth of the pit, some of which were even on its floor. Pottery from the end of the Second Temple period was found in the soil into which it was dug and built; therefore, the pit should be dated to the this period. A scarab dating to the Late Bronze Age was recovered through wet sifting of the fill in the pit.
The excavations revealed a clear stratigraphic picture, indicating the activity on the lower slope of the City of David. A fortified area from the Middle Bronze Age (the fortified passage) was identified in the region of Parker’s channels. In Section 11, no permanent Iron Age settlement was uncovered, but there are layers of fill that have yielded numerous finds, probably washed there by erosion. At the end of the Iron Age or afterward, terrace walls were built on the slope; these were covered with refuse that was discarded at the end of the Second Temple period. Activity exposed next to Nahal Qidron was related to diverting the channel by means of retaining walls and a lime industry that dates to the time of the Second Temple was revealed there.
Vincent H. 2008. Jerusalem Underground. Discoveries from the City of David 1909–1911. Translated to Hebrew with an introduction and comments by R. Reich. Jerusalem.
Reich R. and Shukron E. 2003. The Jerusalem City Dump in the Late Second Temple Period. ZDPV 119:12–18.