The excavation was initiated due to the discovery of chipped stone artifacts by A. Naggar at a building construction site at Meqor Hayyim Street (Fig. 1). This locality lies at the western end of a shallow depression adjacent to the eastern bank of Nahal Refa’im (c. 720 m asl). At the time of discovery, more than 90% of the construction site was built and thus, very few suitable areas for conducting an excavation were left. Accordingly, the investigation was placed on top of a narrow strip adjacent to the northern boundary of the modern building where flint artifacts were noted in the section (Fig. 2). The excavation area was limited to a small trench (1 × 5 m). The contents were dry screened, using a 5 mm mesh. To the west, 5 m more were cleaned for a better understanding of the stratigraphy (Fig. 3). Diagnostic flint artifacts from the section cleaning were collected.
The stratigraphical sequence consists of two layers (1, 2). The upper Layer 1 is a clay-textured buried vertisol (thickness 0.2–0.5 m), containing a few Byzantine potsherds and Paleolithic flint artifacts. The base of this layer is dated by OSL to 5.4±1.3 kya (N. Porat, per. comm.). An abrupt wavy unconformity separates this unit from the underlying Layer 2, which is composed of natural flint cobbles and a few Paleolithic flint artifacts (c. 5%), consolidated in dark clay sediment. Many of the cobbles were coated with carbonate incrustations. The artifacts in this layer were found scattered with no horizontal order. The base of this layer is dated by OSL to 69±17 kya (N. Porat, per. comm.). The bedrock of the Turonian Bina Formation (Arkin Y. 1976. Geological map of Jerusalem and vicinity. The Geological Survey of Israel, Jerusalem.) is located below Layer 2.
The Flint Assemblage
A total of 274 flint artifacts made of local brecciated Campanian flint was collected (Table 1). Most of the items are heavily abraded and patinated and no small component (chips) was retrieved, indicating that the assemblage is in secondary deposition, i.e., not in-situ.
Table 1. General breakdown of the lithic assemblage
Type N %
PE 90 49
Flake 81 44
Blade 4 2
CTE 9 5
Total Debitage 184 100
Debitage 184 67
Tools 36 13
Cores 54 20
TOTAL 274 100
Technologically, two flake industries were identified. The dominant one is of thick unprepared flakes that are well attested by the abundance of flake cores (Table 2). The flake cores (N=30) comprise single platform cores (Fig. 4) and polyhedral cores (Fig. 5:1, 2). This simple knapping method was also prevalent at the Palaeolithic site of Ramat Rahel (HA-ESI 121). The other is the Levallois technology, which is one of the hallmarks of the Middle Palaeolithic period. The Levallois cores (N=8) are not typical as they lack preparations, but have a preferential flaking platform. They include an initial core (Fig. 5:3), unidirectional (Fig. 6:1, 2) and bidirectional (Fig. 6:3) cores.
The rest of the core types include tested nodules (N=8), preformed cores (N=7) and core fragments (N=3). 
Table 2. Core-type frequencies
Type N %
Preformed 7 13
Tested Nodule 8 14
Flake 30 54
Levallois 8 14
Fragment 3 5
Total 56 100
The tools consist of 38 items with a predominance of scrapers (Table 3; Fig 7). Rounded, sided and distal sub-types are common; some were made on Levallois flakes (Fig. 7:2, 3). Notches, denticulates and retouched flakes are the second most common types (N=8 each). Some of the tools were quite massive, having a bifacial retouch (Fig. 8). The remainders were varia (N=4), a knife (N=1) and a hammer stone (N=1).
Table 3. Tool-type frequencies
Type N %
Retouched flakes 8 21
Notches and denticulates 8 21
Scrapers 12 32
Bifaces 4 11
Knives 1 3
Varia 4 11
Hammer stones 1 3
Total 38 100
 The excavation at Meqor Hayyim revealed re-deposited Middle Palaeolithic artifacts, which in spite of their secondary deposition, add to the accumulating information regarding the Middle Palaeolithic period in the Jerusalem Area.
Geologically, the origin of Layer 1 is probably an aeolian deposition of dust that was identified in several sites in the Greater Jerusalem Area (HA-ESI 121; Barzilai O., Aga N. and Cruvi O. 2010. Prehistoric Artifacts from Emeq Rephaim (Area C). In D. Amit, O. Peleg-Barkat and G. D. Stiebel,eds. New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and its Region. Collected papers. Vol. 4. Jerusalem, pp. 31–39 [Hebrew]). As for Layer 2, since the underlying bedrock is hard limestone of the Turonian Bina Formation, which does not consist of any flints, the origins of the flint cobbles and artifacts should be located elsewhere. The closest location of brecciated Campanian flint sources are found at the Arnona-Ramat Rahel district, c. 1 km to the east and c. 80 m higher up. Since the Talpiyot Area is typified by landslides and tectonic activity (Picard, L. 1956. The State of Geology in Jerusalem. In M. Avi-Yonah (ed.)Sepher Yerushalayim (The book of Jerusalem): Jerusalem, its natural conditions, history and development from the origins to the present day. Jerusalem, pp. 35–44 [Hebrew]), it is suggested that the artifacts and natural flint cobbles had drifted from the Arnona-Ramat Rahel flint sources and were buried at Meqor Hayyim c. 70,000 years ago, based on OSL date. Notably, a similar phenomenon was recorded at ‘Emeq Refa’im where greater amounts of natural flint cobbles and Lower Palaeolithic artifacts (including hand axes) were transported via a tributary for a distance of c. 900 m.
Chronologically, the Meqor Hayyim lithic assemblage share characteristics with the Palaeolithic site of Ramat Rahel (HA-ESI 121). Both assemblages manifest high occurrences of unprepared flakes, accompanied by low frequencies of Levallois implements and dominance of scrapers within the tools.
The drifted artifacts from Meqor Hayyim together with the transported Achelian assemblage from ‘Emeq Refa’im indicate that the south Jerusalem area was subject to powerful natural mechanism that shifted Lower and Middle Palaeolithic sites from the water divide and re-deposited them to the west, near the eastern bank of Nahal Refa’im. It is unclear yet how this mechanism operated and what stimulated it; was it triggered by climatic change (increase in annual rainfall), tectonic movements or both?