The excavation uncovered the southwestern part of a large quarry (c. 460 sq m; Fig. 2), of which extensive parts had been excavated in the past (Cohen 2021, with further references therein; Cohen 2022). The quarry extends across the upper northern slope of a hill containing white Judea Group limestone rock from the Nezer Formation. During past excavations conducted in the area numerous quarries were discovered (Permit Nos. A-8233, A-8352, A-8474).
Along the quarry’s northern boundary, a vertical rock wall was uncovered (height 1.7–3.1 m) in the center of which, in its upper part, were quarrying marks (stone dimensions c. 0.4 × 0.6 m), severance channels (width 0.05–0.14 m) and quarrying steps (L110; Fig. 3). On the quarry’s northwestern side, the quarrying steps (L104) descended westward to a low, flat quarrying courtyard (L100; Fig. 4), to the east of which was another quarrying courtyard (L102). On the eastern side of L104 severance channels of uniformly sized stones (0.4 × 0.6 m; Fig. 5) were discovered; these channels were poorly preserved. Quarrying steps (L108; Fig. 6) were found in the center of the quarry. In the southwestern part a rock surface was uncovered (L103; Fig. 7) containing quarrying marks of variously sized stones (0.70 × 0.85 m, 0.7 × 1.4 m, 0.7 × 1.5 m). Quarrying marks and quarrying channels (width 0.06–0.12 m) uncovered in the southeastern part (L101, L107) showed that the stones extracted from there were larger than average for the quarry (0.60 × 1.40 m, 0.75 × 0.75 m; Fig. 8). In the southeastern corner, higher up than Loci 101 and 107, was a vertical rock wall (L111; height 2.25–2.80 m; Fig. 9) that contained small quarrying steps and quarrying channels (width c. 0.15 m) from which large stones had been extracted (stone dimensions 0.6 × 1.7 m). At the eastern end of the excavation, along L104–L106, a vertical rock-hewn wall and steps in a general north–south direction were uncovered; the location of the quarrying steps in the rock wall suggests that the area was quarried from west to east. A shallow courtyard (L109; Fig. 10) was quarried in the center of the excavation area. No diagnostic finds were retrieved from the quarry. The quarry extended to the west and the southwest, beyond the limits of the current excavation.
In the sections on the excavation’s eastern and northwestern edges, layers of brown soil fill and quarrying debris were discerned; the layers were mechanically removed from the quarry prior to the excavation. The layers of fill are not uniform in thickness and were probably deliberately deposited to fill parts of the quarry that were no longer being worked. The brown soil in the fill may be alluvial soil brought from other parts of the quarry prior to the beginning of work there.
Based on comparison with similar quarries nearby, the quarry’s operation should probably be dated to the Roman and Byzantine periods and possibly even to the Early Islamic period. The different dimensions of the stones (0.30–0.75 × 0.75–1.70 m), the quarrying courtyards and the division into quarrying areas, each with its own working methods, suggest that the work was carried out by different groups of workers and at different times. While the quarry was still being worked or after its abandonment, large areas of it were filled in with soil, quarrying debris and stones.