Numerous quarries and rock-hewn tombs, mainly from the time of the Second Temple (Hellenistic and Early Roman periods), were discovered north of the Old City. Quarries dating to the end of the Second-Temple period were excavated in the vicinity of the current excavation area. One such quarry was exposed along the route of the light train (Zilberbod and Amit 2010). A burial cave and a quarry in which large stones were hewn, were excavated on Bar-Lev Road, c. 200 m west of the current excavation (Kohn-Tavor 2010). Large quarries which contained burial caves were excavated in Arzei Ha-Bira neighborhood, c. 500 m west of the current excavation; they date to the Hasmonean period and some remained in use during the Byzantine period
(Zilberbod and Rapuano 2011; ‘Adawi 2014; Wiegmann, ‘Adawi and Oz 2014; Sion, Rapuano and Kogan-Zehavi 2013). Other quarries containing Second-Temple period burial caves were discovered east of the excavation area: one next to the Cave of Simeon the Just, another near the Tomb of the Ramban, and still others near caves in the vicinity of the current excavation (Kloner 1980:39–42; Zissu and Kloner 2000).
The excavation area (4.5 × 6.5 m; Fig. 2) was covered with hamra, below it a fill of small fieldstones, and below the fill a stone quarry hewn in hard limestone rock. Two hewn boulders were found in the excavated area, one in the west part and one in the east. The rocky surface between the two boulders was covered by an accumulation of soil, which contained several pottery sherds from the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods, including an unguentarium (Fig. 5:1) and jars (Fig. 5:2). Coins that could not be identified were found in the accumulation in L1 and L2.
The eastern boulder (L7; length 3 m, max. height 0.8 m, estimated width 0.7 m) protruded from the eastern section of the excavation and was only partially exposed. It was hewn in the shape of a step, and diagonal chisel marks were visible on its western and southern faces. A hewn depression (L8; length 0.3 m, width 0.3 m, depth 0.2 m; Fig. 3) was observed on the northern part of the step.
The western boulder (L4; length 3.0 m, width 2.0 m, max. height 1.5 m) was also hewn to form a step. Diagonal chisel marks were noted on its eastern face (Fig. 4). Its northern part had a smoothed surface, and its southern part sloped down to the quarrying line (L6).
The quarry that was excavated was located in an area of quarries ascribed to the end of the Second-Temple period; thus it seems that it should be dated to the same period. It seems that the excavation did not expose the full are of the quarry. Apparently it was damaged by modern construction work, and extends beyond the boundaries of the lot where the preliminary trial trenches and excavation were conducted. The pottery at the bottom of the quarry, the size of the stones hewn in it, and its proximity to the public construction projects of the period, indicate that the quarry supplied building stones for those projects.