In March–April 2019, a salvage excavation was undertaken in the Nusseiba compound in the neighborhood of Beit Hanina in Jerusalem (Permit No. A-7907; map ref. 221440–60/637807–28; Fig. 1) prior to the laying of a sewage line. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by the Gihon Water Company, was directed by Z. Adawi, with the assistance of N. Nehama (administration), R. Cohen (preliminary inspection and preparation of the area), D. Levi and A. Wiegmann (GPS), A. Hajian (surveying and drafting), D. Tanami (metal detection), N. Zak (plans), A. Peretz (field photography), R. Bar-Nathan and Y. Rapuano (pottery reading), C. Amit (studio photography), I. Lidsky-Reznikov (pottery drawing), I. Reznitzky (metallurgical laboratory) and D.T. Ariel (numismatics).
The site is situated in an area of level ground, where the presumed east–west Roman road ran from Jerusalem to Lod (the Bet H
oron Road). The road branched off from the north–south Jerusalem–Nablus Road, which passed along the mountaintops, at the point of the ‘fourth mile,’ c. 400 m south of the site (Kloner 2001:26*, Site 28). The excavation uncovered a section of a road, probably belonging to the Bet H
oron Road; additional segments of the road were uncovered in the past (for background and sources, see Ein Mor 2018
The remains were of a road segment (L104; exposed length 1.3 m, width c. 1.1, m; Figs. 2, 3) that ran in a southeast–northwest direction and was bounded on the west by a wall (W1). Another, smaller road segment was discovered west of the wall (L105; width 0.7 m). These two segments were apparently two phases of the same road; its continuation to the east lies under a modern asphalt road, beyond the excavation area. Both segments comprised an upper layer of yellowish, crushed chalk, set on a foundation (L106—thickness 0.25 m; L107—thickness 0.35 m) of small and medium-size fieldstones. Wall 1 (length 5 m, width 0.3–0.4 m), was built of one row of large and medium-size dressed fieldstones (0.2–0.4 × 0.3–0.4 m), preserved to a height of two courses; the wall was founded on a layer of soil (thickness 0.25 m) and small stones (2–5 × 2–5 cm), on the westward-sloping bedrock.
The accumulation that covered the road (L100) and Foundation 106 yielded pottery sherds belonging to bowls from the Iron Age II (Fig. 4:1, 2), a coin from the reign of Herod the Great (IAA 157724) and a button, probably made of iron (Fig. 5). The Iron Age pottery may have been swept into the excavation area from a nearby site where an Iron Age settlement existed, and the coin may belong to an early use of the road, prior to its construction in the second century CE.
Ein Mor D. 2018. Jerusalem, Beit H
anina. HA-ESI 130
Kloner A. 2001. Survey of Jerusalem: The Northeastern Sector (Israel Archaeological Survey). Jerusalem.