In February 2017, a salvage excavation was conducted in the Wadi el-Joz neighborhood, north of the Old City of Jerusalem (Permit No. A-7955; map ref. 221981–2009/633314–41; Fig. 1), after archaeological remains were exposed during infrastructure work. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Moriah Company, was directed by D. Yeger, with the assistance of N. Nehama (administration), A. Rose (photogrammetry), M. Kahan (surveying and drafting) and B. Touri (East Jerusalem District Archaeologist).
The area was prepared for the excavation with mechanical equipment that removed layers of fill and accumulations extending down to the quarry’s floor. The quarry was only documented (Fig. 3) rather than excavated, due to the nature of the finds and safety constraints.
The quarry is of the courtyard type (Safrai and Sasson 2001:4); four quarrying steps descending to the west and north (L5) were cleared. The stone-quarrying technique employed here is known from other quarries in the vicinity: the stone was removed from the bedrock by cutting severance channels on three of its sides, and detaching it from its free side, as evidenced in the negatives that remained after the stones were removed and in the severance channels on the quarry’s floor. Most of the stones in the quarry were uniform in size (0.3 × 0.3 × 0.6 m; Fig. 4). After the quarry was no longer in use, it was covered with a layer of brown terra-rossa alluvium and fieldstones (L4). Over a period of unknown duration, the area was covered with small–medium fieldstones (L3). An overlying layer of dark brown soil was probably the remains of an ancient road (L2); on top of it was an asphalt road (L1) paved at the time of the British Mandate.
None of the pottery sherds collected in the excavation were diagnostic, and so they were of no aid in dating the quarry.
This quarry, like others excavated and surveyed in the past, provided Jerusalem with building stones. In the absence of archaeological finds, it is difficult to date quarries due to the unchanging quarrying techniques employed over many periods (Safrai and Sasson 2001
:2). Despite the meager finds, the quarry may be related to quarries excavated nearby, which were dated to the Early Roman period.
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