During January–February 2011, a salvage excavation was conducted at Khirbat Sabiha in the East Talpiyot neighborhood (Permit No. A-6101; map ref. 221684–710/627957–78), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Bonei Ha-Tikhon Construction Company, was directed by A. Golani (field photography), with the assistance of R. Abu Salah (administration), A. Hajian (surveying), A. Nagar (regional antiquities inspection) and A. Eirikh-Rose (IAA Jerusalem district archaeologist).
The excavation area was covered with pine trees, which were planted to prevent soil erosion and were cut down prior to the excavation. Mechanical equipment removed the alluvium accumulation above the bedrock and the excavation area was exposed down to bedrock. The work focused in places where ancient remains were discovered or where antiquities were thought to occur.
Ancient remains were mostly discovered in the east of the area (Fig. 2); a quarry was exposed. The quarrying remains included leveled stone surfaces, rock-cut severance channels and negatives of square and rectangular ashlars that had been removed from the quarry (Figs. 3–6).
Several simple field walls, partly founded on top of bedrock, were discovered in the northeast of the area (Figs. 7, 8); it seems that they were mostly intended to prevent soil erosion.
A small rock-hewn cupmark was exposed in the southwest of the area, next to a natural rock shelter (Fig. 9). The several potsherds recovered from the excavation dated from Iron Age II until the Ottoman period. It was not possible to date the quarries and the field walls.
The excavation did not uncover any impressive finds, yet it adds another tier to our knowledge about the industrial and agricultural hinterland of ancient Jerusalem.