During November 2005, a salvage excavation was conducted on Ketef Hinom in Jerusalem (Permit No. A-4637*; map ref. NIG 22135–6/63064–6; OIG 17135–6/13064–6), prior to construction. The excavation, carried out on behalf of the Antiquities Authority and financed by the Jerusalem Foundation, was directed by I. Zilberbod, with the assistance of R. Abu-Halaf (administration) and T. Kornfeld (surveying and drafting).
The excavation was conducted north of the Khan Theater. A quarry (11 × 11 m; c. 220 sq m), in which two levels of stone cutting were discerned, was exposed. Vertical bedrock sides were exposed on the east (L11; length 8 m, height 4 m), south (L12; length 5.5 m, height 1.2 m) and west (L6; length 2 m, height 1.5 m) in the excavation of the quarry’s lower level (8 × 10 m). Part of the western side and the northern side were located beyond the limits of the excavation. On the bottom of the quarry’s lower level (L5; 5.5 × 9.0 m) were broad severance channels (width 0.35–0.40 m, depth 0.15–0.25 m) used in removing the stone blocks and narrow quarrying channels (Loci 13, 14, 18; max. length 1.2 m, max. width 0.13 m, max. depth 0.2 m), as well as the negatives of detached rectangular stones. Layers of quarry chips (thickness of strata 0.2–1.0 m) were deposited on the bottom of the lower level, containing fragments of roof tiles from the Byzantine period that indicate the period when the quarry was in use.
The area of the quarry’s upper level was smaller (c. 3.5 × 4.0 m) and consisted of severance channels (L15––length 2.5 m, width c. 4 cm, depth 0.2 m; L17––length 0.9 m, width 0.15 m) for large stones (Loci 9, 10––depth 0.6 m) and medium-sized stones (L8––depth 0.3–0.6 m).