During July–August 2010, a trial excavation was conducted at Lifta in Jerusalem (Permit No. A-5974; map ref. 218819–40/633248–69), prior to the quarrying of a tunnel. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Israel Railways, was directed by M. Haiman (field photography), with the assistance of A. Hajian (surveying and drafting).
Four farming terraces on a steep slope (L100–L103; Figs. 1, 2) were excavated. Each terrace was retained by a stone revetment (W104–W107). A probe trench was excavated in each terrace and soil fill was exposed on top of the bedrock in all of them. Terrace 100 (width 2–5 m; Fig. 3) was retained by W104 (width 0.9 m, height 1.0–2.7 m) and the soil in it was 0.3 m thick. Terrace 101 (width 3 m; Fig. 4) was retained by W105 (width 0.8 m, height 1–2 m) and the soil was 1.1 m thick. Terrace 102 (width 2–6 m; Fig. 5) was retained by W106 (width 0.8 m, height c. 2 m) and the soil was c. 1 m thick. Terrace 103 (width 3–5 m; Fig. 6) was retained by W107 (width 0.8 m, max. height 2.8 m) and the soil was 1.1 m thick. The examined farming terraces are typical of the Judean Hills, and the depth of the soil in them allowed for planting various agricultural crops, including trees.