During May 2003, a salvage excavation was conducted within the precincts of the Nebi ‘Akasha mosque on Strauss Street in Jerusalem (Permit No. A-3923; map ref. NIG 2207–8/6325–6; OIG 1707–8/1325–6). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Jerusalem Municipality, was directed by T. De‘adle, with the assistance of T. Kornfeld and A. Hajian (surveying) and C. Hersch (pottery drawing).
A grave monument (1.9 × 3.7 m. height 1.2 m), preserved three courses high, was revealed in an excavation alongside the entrance to the tomb of El-Qameriya (Figs. 1–3). The monument, built of ashlars, soil fill and fieldstones (L202) on a floor of crushed chalk (L203), was topped with a covering of stone slabs (W100). The pottery assemblage recovered from the fill dated its construction to the transition between the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods (twelfth–fourteenth centuries CE). A structure of fieldstones (W101, W102; 1.4 × 1.8 m) and soil fill (L204) founded on bedrock was exposed beneath the monument. Potsherds from the Umayyad period, the eighth–tenth centuries CE and the Ayyubid–Mamluk periods were found in the fill. The fill around the tomb and next to it (L201) yielded potsherds that dated to the Late Ottoman period (nineteenth century CE).
An ashlar stone, engraved with two funerary inscriptions and probably a later addition, was affixed to the monument. The first inscription was written in three lines:
هذا قبر الشيخ عبد الرحمن سعد كمال قشي لروحه الفاتحه سنة 1310 للهجرة.
“This is the tomb of Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman Sa’ad Kamal, a gift for his soul the fatha will be read1310 AH (1892 CE)”.
The second inscription was added to the first and was written at an angle to it:
ضريح الصحابي عكاشة
“The tomb of ‘Akasha, friend of the Prophet”
It seems that the monument was built after the mausoleum was constructed in the sixth decade of the thirteenth century CE. The plaque, which bears the name of an interred individual and is probably from another tomb, was most likely affixed to the monumnet at the beginning of the twentieth century CE. The plaque was found attached to the corner with modern cement, which is different than the mortar used in the monument. Sometime after the 1930s the grave monument and its surroundings were covered with debris that included potsherds from the Ottoman period. Conservation and cleaning workds were conducted at the site in the 1970s (HA 6:17 [Hebrew])