Quarrying steps were exposed within the site, upon which quarrying marks of large stones, broad deep quarrying channels, stone-dressing marks made with a chisel and pick-axe, and separating channels of stones that were cut in the final stages of their quarrying, were visible. This quarry, as other quarries discovered elsewhere in the country, is divided into work courtyards that allow quarrying stones of varying sizes. Parts of nine courtyards (1–9), which face east toward a main road that led to the center of the Old City, were exposed in the quarry.
Courtyard 1(c. 240 sq m). The northern part of the courtyard bordered on a burial cave that was not excavated and its western part was delimited by a tall hewn side of the bedrock (height 3 m). Quarrying marks of a very large stone (A; 1.3×2.4 m; Fig. 4) were revealed in the southeastern corner of the courtyard. Small stones (largest dimensions 0.4×0.6 m) were hewn in the northern part of the courtyard.
(c. 260 sq m). The western part of the courtyard sloped to the west, whereas its eastern part was straight. Signs of a row of stones (length c. 2 m) were exposed along the courtyard’s southern part. The eastern stone in this row was broken and therefore left in situ
(Fig. 5). A pick-axe (length 28 cm; 2.4 kg; Figs. 6, 7) was exposed inside a quarrying channel on the western side of the courtyard. An identical pick-axe was discovered in an adjacent excavation where a quarry dating to the first century BCE–second century CE was exposed (HA-ESI 120
Courtyard 3 (c. 180 sq m). In the western part of the courtyard was a prominent bedrock surface that rose c. 4 m higher than the eastern part of the courtyard. Different size stones (length 0.7–1.6 m) were hewn in the courtyard. A stone that had broken and consequently left in place was exposed in the south of the courtyard (B; Fig. 8). This stone was placed on a small stone (Fig. 9), probably to transport it and as a result broke in two along a crack in it.
Courtyards 4–7 (c. 1,600 sq m). Large parts of the western part of Courtyard 4 were not excavated so as to leave access to other areas of the excavation. The borders between the four courtyards are clear in the western part of the area, while they are indistinct in the east beyond the wastewater channel. Different size stones were hewn in Courtyards 4 and 5, similar to Courtyard 3. A large bedrock boulder, which was easily quarried along its northern and eastern edges, separated Courtyard 6 from Courtyard 7 (Figs. 10, 11). Exploiting the prominences in the bedrock surface resulted in cutting small stones from the upper layers of the quarry, and as they quarried further down the sizes of the stones that were removed increased. A tall bedrock facade (4–6 m) was exposed in the western side of Courtyard 7 while the façade revealed in its eastern side was short (c. 1 m). A rock-hewn plastered cistern (Fig. 12) and a round settling pit (diam. 0.9 m) to its south were exposed in Courtyard 7. Large stones (0.5–1.0×1.1–1.6 m) were hewn in the bottom of the courtyard.
Courtyard 8 (c. 150 sq m; Fig. 13) continued east beyond the excavation limits. The surface of the courtyard remained level upon cessation of the quarrying. Large stones (length 1.2–2.0 m) were hewn in the courtyard.
Courtyard 9 (350 sq m). It seems that this courtyard continued eastward beyond the limits of the excavation. Different size stones (0.4–1.5×0.6–2.5 m) were hewn in the courtyard.
Thirty-one fragments of pottery vessels that range in date from the Iron Age to the nineteenth century CE were recovered from the excavation. The potsherds ascribed to Iron Age II and III include jars (Fig. 14:1–3) and a jug (Fig. 14:4). Most of the potsherds dated to the Late Hellenistic and Early Roman periods (the Hasmonean and Herodian time) and consist of bowls (Fig. 14:5, 6), cooking pots (Fig. 14:7–9) and jars (Fig. 14:10–13). Four pottery fragments dating to the Late Byzantine period included bowls (Fig. 14:14–16) and a jug (Fig. 14:17). In addition, several potsherds were discovered, including a jug (Fig. 14:18), ascribed to the Early Islamic period; bowls (Fig. 14:19–21) from the Mamluk period; bowls (Fig. 14:22–25) and a tobacco pipe (Fig. 14:26) from the Ottoman period; and bowls (Fig. 14:27–29) from the Late Ottoman period (nineteenth century CE).
Six coins were discovered in the excavation, two of which are ancient: one is a coin of Alexander Jannaeus (IAA 138043) and the other—a coin dating to the Hasmonean period (129–37 BCE; IAA 136480).
On the basis of most ceramic finds and the pick-axe discovered at the bottom of a quarrying channel, it seems that most of the activity in the quarry should be dated to the Hasmonean and Herodian periods. The dimensions of most of the stones quarried at the site (0.4–1.2×1.1–2.4 m) indicate these were used in the construction projects of Jerusalem during the latter part of the Second Temple period. The large stones quarried show the involvement of a government organization, because only a state-run project could recruit sufficient manpower for quarrying and transporting such large stones. The quarry is part of an extensive quarrying region from the Second Temple period that was discovered north of Jerusalem and served as the principal source of stone for public projects at this time, reaching their pinnacle in the Herodian period (Sion, Sasson, Zilberbod and Rapuano 2011