In March 2020, a salvage excavation was conducted on al-Malik al-Muezzam ‘Issa Street in the Old City of Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter (Permit No. A-8708; map ref. 222424–33/632263–71; Fig. 1), following the discovery of antiquities during construction work in a private residence. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by N. Rom, with the assistance of S. Halevi (photography) and V. Essman (drafting).
The excavation took place in a house built in the mid-twentieth century on the eastern side of al-Malik al-Muezzam ‘Issa Street, which runs between Sha‘ar Ha-Perah’im Street and Burj el-Laqlaq (the Storks Tower) in the northeastern corner of the Old City. The house comprises rooms surrounding a central courtyard (Fig. 2); the walls in the northern part of the building were founded directly on bedrock.
Four excavation areas were opened (S1–S4), yielding remains of a building-stone quarry, which cannot be dated, and a water channel, which was probably installed when the house was built. The nearest excavation took place to the east of Sha‘ar Ha-Perah’im (Herod’s Gate), where architectural remains dating from the Early Roman to the Mamluk period were discovered (Baruch and Zissu 2006).
The quarry remains were discovered in Areas S3 and S4. In Area S3, the excavation reached the bedrock (L300), in which severance channels could be discerned (Fig. 3), but it was not possible to estimate the dimensions of the quarried stones. A rectangular quarrying step was uncovered in Area S4 (L400; Fig. 4); it is unclear whether it was formed by stone quarrying. In Area S2, the excavation revealed the bedrock, which slopes from east to west and bears no traces of quarrying (L200; Fig. 5). No finds that could aid in dating the quarries were retrieved.
The water channel (L100; Fig. 6) was discovered in the building’s courtyard, in Area S1. The channel was built of small fieldstones and coated with gray plaster. At its western end, flat stone covering slabs were preserved. The channel was probably built at the same time as the house and served to drain water from the roof of the northern rooms into a cistern, which is apparently located under the concrete paving in the center of the courtyard.
Baruch Y. and Zissu B. 2006. Jerusalem, the Old City, Herod‘s Gate. HA-ESI 118.