In March–April 2007 a trial excavation was conducted along the eastern boundary of the ‘Atarot Industrial Zone (Permit No. A-5056; map ref. NIG 221078–223/640417–739; OIG 171078–223/140417–739), prior to the installation of a sewage pipe (Fig. 1). The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and with the financial support of the Jerusalem municipality, was directed by A. Nagar, with assistance from Y. Ohion and E. Bahar (administration), A. Hajian (surveying), E. Belashov (preparation of plans for publication) and T. Sagiv (photography).
In an excavation that was conducted beneath a modern asphalt street, c. 25 m west of Nahal ‘Atarot, five probes (A–E; Fig. 2) of different sizes were excavated over a distance of c. 235 m. No datable finds were recovered. Section F was exposed by means of mechanical equipment and was not excavated. The road bed of a street that dated to the time of the British Mandate was exposed; this street served as the main thoroughfare between Jerusalem and Ramallah prior to the paving of a wider road located further east.
The street, which also included a layer of asphalt, was situated beneath a layer of asphalt and gravel of a modern road. Its bedding, which was made of small and medium fieldstones, was deposited on terra rossa soil (thickness in the south 0.25 m, Section A; 0.2 m in the center, Section F; 0.4 m in the north, Section B; Figs. 3, 4). The width of the street is unknown.
Meager pottery finds were recovered in the terra rossa soil below the level of stones and include body sherds and spouts that date to the Mamluk period.
Based on the road building technique the street should be dated to a period no earlier than the British Mandate and it was probably paved during the time of the Jordanian rule. The pottery sherds originated from the alluvium terra rossa soil and they have no connection whatsoever with the paving of the street.