In April 2005 a salvage excavation was conducted in the E-Tur neighborhood, south of the Mount of Olives (Permit No. A-4439; map ref. NIG 2234–5/6320–1; OIG 1734–5/1320–1) following the discovery of ancient remains in probe trenches. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and with the financial backing of Ibrahim Julang, was directed by A. Eirikh-Rose, with assistance from V. Essman and V. Pirski (surveying) and T. Sagiv (photography).
Two excavation areas were opened in which an upper (A) and lower (B) quarry were exposed c. 20 apart.
Quarry A (Figs. 1–3) was located on the upper part of the slope (c. 6.0–9.0 × 12.5 m, depth 1–2 m). In most of the quarry rock-cutting occurred only in the upper layer of bedrock. In its deeper parts a white sediment overlay bedrock; however, in the southwestern corner of the quarry a coin was recovered from inside this white sediment layer. The debris from the stone dressing and the detachment channels indicate that the size of the stones removed from the quarry average 0.5 × 0.7 m.
Quarry B (Figs. 4, 5) was located on the southern part of the slope (7 × 10 m). It was a courtyard-type quarry whose quarrying steps and detachment channels were situated mostly in its northern and central part. The eastern side of the quarry was cut in a straight line. There were diagonal signs of rock-cutting on that side whose directions were different in each row of quarrying. The average size of the quarried stones was 0.6 × 1.0 m. Here also was a white sediment layer (0.1–0.3 m) at the bottom of the quarry.
The ceramic finds were meager and non-diagnostic. Two metal artifacts were found, a chain link and a small square weight engraved with concentric circles which dates to the Byzantine period. A coin of 355–361 CE (IAA 115176) was also found. The pottery, Byzantine coin and metal artifacts were found in a fill that covered the quarries; it seems that the fill washed down from the slope above and therefore cannot be used to date the quarry. A coin of Alexander Jannaeus (80/79 BCE; IAA 101942) was found in the white sediment layer. The quarry, which probably supplied building stones to Jerusalem, should probably be dated to the Second Temple period.