The remains of a water channel (length 0.9 m, width c. 0.2 m, depth 0.6 m) could be discerned at the top of the cliff where the rock-hewn cavity is located. The channel was apparently connected to the Lower Aqueduct, which ran along the cliff and conveyed water to the Temple Mount. The rectangular cavity (3.35 × 4.60 m, min. height 8.40 m; Fig. 2) was meticulously hewn and the rock sides were dressed diagonally by means of a serrated tool. Its western side was preserved to a considerably greater height than its other sides. An entrance corridor (1.2 × 1.3 m, min. height 3.2 m) was hewn in the eastern side, which was only preserved to the elevation of c. 732.25 m above sea level. The fill in the cavity was only partially excavated due to safety precautions. It seems that the cavity was hewn as a single unit in the Roman period or at the latest, during the Byzantine period. It is possible that the rock-cutting was done together with the rock-cutting on the cliff, or even simultaneously with the construction of the cardo that extended east of the cliff. The cavity consisted of at least three stories. The floor and the ceiling that separated the upper two stories did not survive. Part of a floor (L9), supported by a cross vault on the bottom story, was preserved between the two lower stories. The fill blocking the entire height of the cavity was homogenous and it seems to have accumulated at the end of the Mamluk period, after the cavity was no longer in use, or latest at the beginning of the Ottoman period—a very long time after the street, next to which the cavity was hewn, ceased to be used.
The Upper Story. Most of the eastern side of the upper room was missing and its southern side was damaged; the end of its floor that consisted of terra-cotta pavers had survived. A natural recess that had been hewn wider and deeper and sloped from north to south (732.3–732.0 m above sea level) was noted along the sides of the room. The gray plaster in the recess was embedded with well-fired, orange-colored terra-cotta slabs (thickness c. 2 cm; Fig. 3)—probably remains of a floor, the likes of which are known from Byzantine buildings in Jerusalem.
The Middle Story. The ceiling of the second story room was installed almost directly below the floor level of the upper room and probably supported it. The ceiling probably consisted of wooden beams that were inserted into recesses hewn in the bedrock walls. Four shallow recesses (height 0.25–0.50 m, max. width 0.25 m, max. depth 0.2 m) that were hewn at irregular intervals were noted in the northern side, at an elevation of 731.5 m above sea level. A single recess survived opposite them, in the middle of the southern side, which was partially destroyed. A floor of crushed chalk (L9; thickness 0.25 m; Fig. 4) atop a bedding of small fieldstones was preserved at an elevation of c. 729.5 m above sea level. This floor was probably constructed in the Mamluk period, when a cistern was installed in the bottom room (below). A trapezoidal entryway (height 1.9 m, width of threshold 0.85 m, width of lintel 0.75 m, max. depth 0.9 m; Figs. 3, 5) that was hewn in the northern side of this wall led to the adjacent room in the row of rock-hewn shops. It seems that this entry was breached in a later phase of the room’s use, but it is impossible to determine when this occurred. The western doorjamb of the entry, like the threshold and the lintel, was partly destroyed.
The corridor opened in the eastern side of the room probably linked the cavity with the room built to its east in the second story of a building that was erected alongside the street. However, this corridor was apparently blocked at a later phase by a barely preserved barrel vault that was built inside a water cistern in the bottom room (below). An arched opening, whose upper part was only exposed (Fig. 6; see Fig. 2: Section 2-2), was installed at the end of the vault that faced the hewn cavity. The opening, built of ashlar stones without mortar, was set inside a straight frame that consisted of a row of square stones above it and above them—a course of flat stones, only one stone of which survived on the southern side (thickness 0.1 m). The vault narrowed and lowered the passage in the corridor (max. height 1.2 m) so much that it is difficult to assume people could move through it from this room; hence, it seems that the arch was supposed to fulfill an engineering function, possibly that of a relief arch.