In February 2016, an excavation was conducted on the eastern slope of the City of David (Permit No. A-7640; map ref. 222443-534/631151-229). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Elad Association, was directed by S. Dan-Goor, with the assistance of N. Nahama (administration), V. Essman and Y. Shmidov (surveying and drafting), A. Peretz (field photography), D. Tanami (metal detection), N. Zak (plans), D.T. Ariel (numismatics) and A. Cohen (engineering supervision).
The excavation area extended across a bedrock terrace on the eastern slope of the City of David in the Jerusalem Walls National Park.
The excavation followed the route of Wall NA, which was revealed by K. Kenyon (Steiner 2001
:89). The excavation area was located west of the Iron Age II rock-hewn rooms exposed previously (Reich and Shukron 2012:14)
. Two seasons of excavations were recently conducted (Szanton and Uziel 2015; Uziel and Szanton 2015; Permit No. A-7477), and t
he current excavation was a continuation of these excavations.
The strata exposed by the excavation are similar to those discovered in the earlier excavations, and therefore, they are numbered as a continuation of those excavations (Uziel and Szanton 2015
:235). The excavation focused on the highest point in the center of the area (Sq A5–4). Accumulations of debris from the Roman period (L16006) were exposed that had been severely disturbed by concrete work undertaken in the western part of the square (Fig. 1). Some of the concrete spilled onto the debris accumulations and part of the excavation area’s western balk fell on them. Locus 16006 belongs to Stratum 4, exposed in previous seasons in the remainder of the excavation area (Szanton and Uziel 2015). Fragments of pottery vessels ranging in date from the Iron Age to the Early Roman period were uncovered.
The upper part of a curved wall (W16011; Fig. 2) was exposed at the bottom of the accumulations. This wall was the northern continuation of W15030, uncovered during the last excavation season (Figs. 3, 4; Permit No. A-7477) and it extended west, beyond the excavation area. Wall 16011 (exposed length 2 m, width 0.45 m) was built of one row of stones; its three upper courses (height 0.6 m) were exposed while its bottom courses have not yet been revealed. The time of the wall could not be determined because the excavation was not completed; it could date any time from the Iron Age to the Second Temple period. Pottery sherds dating from the Iron Age to the Hellenistic period and a coin that has not yet been dated were discovered next to the wall. Wall 16011 probably connects to Wall NA, exposed along the same route north of the excavation area.
Reich R. and Shukron E. 2012. One Hundred Years Since the Parker–Vincent Excavations in the City of David. In A. Maron ed. City of David Studies of Ancient Jerusalem 7. Pp. 133–159 (Hebrew).
Steiner M.L. 2001. Excavations by Kathleen M. Kenyon in Jerusalem 1961–1967 III: The Settlement in the Bronze and Iron Ages. Sheffield.
Szanton N. and Uziel J. 2015. Jerusalem, City of David. HA-ESI 127.
Uziel J. and Szanton N. 2015. Recent Excavations near the Gihon Spring and their Reflection on the Character of Iron Age II Jerusalem. Tel Aviv 42:233–250.