During February 2008, a salvage excavation was conducted in the Abu Tor quarter in Jerusalem (Permit No. A-5375; map ref. 221556/629900), prior to the construction of the promenade next to the Sharover Center (Fig. 1). The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by E.D. Kagan (field photography), with the assistance of A. Hajian (surveying and drafting) and N. Zak (plans).
A rock-hewn pit (L104; preserved height 3 m; Figs. 1, 2), discovered during preliminary inspections at the site prior to the excavation, was excavated. Most of the pit, including its upper part, was destroyed due to development work. The pit was filled with alluvium. Its upper part was cylindrical (presumed diam. c. 0.8 m), while the bottom part widened into a bell shape (diam. 1.3 m). The sides of the pit were coated with gray hydraulic plaster, applied to a foundation of small flat stones; it seems to have been used to store liquids (Fig. 3). Two squares (L102, L105) were excavated south of the pit but no ancient remains were discovered. The bedrock surface was completely destroyed by construction work that had previously been carried out at the site. Several potsherds, dating to the Iron Age (seventh century BCE), the Herodian (first century BCE), Byzantine (fifth–sixth centuries CE) and Ottoman period and the modern era, were discovered in the alluvium north of the pit (L103) and in the two excavation squares. The discovery of ancient potsherds in the layer above the damaged bedrock surface shows that they might have originated elsewhere and were brought to the site together with soil. The dimensions and shape of the pit suggest it was part of some installation that was not preserved, probably a winepress or an olive press.