In June–July 2014, a salvage excavation was conducted in the Umm Tuba neighborhood of Jerusalem (Permit No. A-7139; map ref. 221904–31/626225–38; Fig. 1), prior to installing a sewer line. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and financed by the Gihon Company, was directed by Z. ‘Adawi (photography), with the assistance of A. Hajian and M. Kunin (surveying and drafting) and D. Levy (GPS).
Four squares (each c. 3.5 × 5.0 m, a total of 75 sq m) were opened, and alluvial soil was excavated down to the bedrock at a depth of c. 2.7 m. No distinct architectural remains were discovered, save for a layer of collapsed building stones, some of which were ashlars (average dimensions 0.4 × 0.6–0.8 m), concentrated in the center of excavation area (Fig. 3) and in its western part (Fig. 4). The scant ceramic finds from this layer date to the end of the Byzantine period and the beginning of the Early Islamic period.
The absence of architectural remains indicates that the excavation area was situated outside the bounds of the built remains (Eirkh-Rose 2007
). The layer of collapsed stones probably originated from the architectural remains excavated nearby. It might be a result of one of the earthquakes that struck the region during the Islamic period; another possibility is that the buildings collapsed after they were abandoned and no longer used.
‘Adawi Z. 2010. Re-examination of Settlement Characteristics around Jerusalem in the Late Byzantine and Early Muslim Period
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Eirikh-Rose A. 2007. Kh. Umm Tuba. In J. Patrich and D. Amit eds. New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and its Region: Collected Papers 1. Jerusalem. P. 142 (Hebrew).
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Kloner A. 2000. Survey of Jerusalem: the Southern Sector (Archaeological Survey of Israel). Jerusalem.