In June 2010, a salvage excavation was conducted in the neighborhood of Shu‘fat in Jerusalem (Permit No. A-5943; map ref. 221490/635840; Fig. 1). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by Mr. Salam Abu-Khdeir, was directed by Z. ‘Adawi, with the assistance of B. Touri and K. Masarwa (antiquities inspection), V. Essman and Y. Shmidov (surveying) and A. Peretz (field photography).
The quarry (max. length c. 20 m, max. width c. 10 m; Figs. 2, 3) was covered with two layers of soil. The upper one (L100, L103; average thickness 0.3–1.0 m), consisting of dark brown soil that had eroded into the site from the south, was removed by a backhoe under the supervision of an antiquities inspector prior to the excavation. The lower layer (L101, L102, L104, L105; average thickness c. 0.3 m) contained only yellowish, light brown quarrying debris; it was excavated manually.
Several rock-cutting levels were discerned in the quarry. Two quarrying levels were identified in its eastern part, where the manner of rock-cutting and its direction seem to suggest it was done in two phases (Fig. 4). The quarrying lines of the first phase (L103, L200) run in a north–south direction, whereas those of the second phase (L101, L102, L104) run perpendicularly, in an east–west direction (Fig. 5). Four quarrying levels constituting a single rock-cutting phase were identified in the western part of the quarry (Figs. 5–7). The chisel marks on the quarrying levels in the different parts of the quarry, the negatives in the rock, and the stones surrounded by severance channels (width 0.1 m; Fig. 8), which were not detached from bedrock, seem to indicate that rock blocks of various sizes (length 0.5–2.0 m, width 0.6–1.0 m, average height 0.3–0.6 m) were hewn in the quarry.
The burial cave (L300) was hewn into the preexisting quarry. The cave was only inspected; it included an arcosolium, which was damaged in the past, and a loculus below it.
No datable artifacts were discovered in the quarry, which presumably served the residents of nearby sites. Although the burial cave was not excavated, it is ascribed on the basis of its plan to the type of caves with loculi and arcosolia which was common in the latter part of the Second Temple period. A cave of this type was excavated c. 150 m to the south (‘Adawi 2013), and another was surveyed in 2011 (Barda and ‘Adawi 2012: Site 50). It seems that this cave, like the other caves in the area, and the quarry were used by the residents of Khirbat el-Mughram or Khirbat er-Ras, located nearby (Kloner 2001:48*–52*, Sites 114, 120), or the nearby settlement uncovered on Derekh Ramallah, which was inhabited by Jews between the Great Revolt and the Bar Kokhba Revolt (Sklar-Parnes 2005; Bar Natan and Sklar-Parnes 2007).
‘Adawi Z. 2013. A Burial Cave and an Agricultural Terrace at Khirbat el-Mughram in the Shu‘afat Neighborhood, Jerusalem. ‘Atiqot 76:1–9 (Hebrew; English summary, pp. 215–216).
Barda L. and ‘Adawi Z. 2012. Jerusalem, Shu‘fat, Survey. HA-ESI 124.
Bar-Natan R. and Sklar-Parnes D. 2007. A Jewish Settlement at Orine between the Two Revolts. In J. Patrich and D. Amit eds. New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and its Region: Collected Papers I. Jerusalem. Pp. 57–65 (Hebrew).
Kloner A. 2001. Survey of Jerusalem: The Northeastern Sector (Archaeological Survey of Israel). Jerusalem.
Sklar-Parnes D.A. 2005. Jerusalem, Shu‘fat. HA-ESI 117.