During May 2006, a salvage excavation was conducted near Kefar ‘Ezyon Street in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem (Permit No. A-4785*; map ref. NIG 22130–3/62835; OIG 17130–3/12835; Fig. 1), prior to the construction of the new American Consulate. The excavation, on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, was directed by A. Nagar, with the assistance of R. Abu-Halaf (administration), V. Essman and V. Pirsky (surveying and drafting), T. Sagiv (photography), Y. Nagar (physical anthropology), I. Berin (final plans), J. Bukengolts (pottery restoration) and C. Hersch (pottery drawing).
Two excavation areas (A, B), 30 m apart, were opened on a slope that descends eastward (Fig. 2). Seven and a half squares were excavated in Area A, the lower of the two, revealing a quarry and a hewn pit whose ceramic finds mostly dated to the Early Roman period. A single square was excavated in Area B where several rock hewn pits were discovered. This area was opened next to the northern wall of a building that had been exposed in a previous excavation (HA-ESI 119
). Other antiquities excavated in the area included burial caves (A. Kloner, 2001, Survey of Jerusalem, the Southern Sector
: Sites 70–72), a storage cave and a quarry from the Second Temple period (Permit Nos. A-4325, A-4383), as well as a section of the Lower Aqueduct to Jerusalem (Permit No. A-2616).
(Fig. 3). Evidence of quarried, different-sized square stones (0.65–0.80 × 0.35–0.40 m) and remains of severance channels around them (width 3–10 cm, depth 2–8 cm) were exposed in a large quarry (L100; c. 140 sq m; Fig. 4). In the middle of the quarry was a square hewn surface, delimited by quarried bedrock walls (L108; 1.55 × 1.60 m, depth 0.1–0.5 m; Fig. 5) whose function is unknown. Eight pits of different sizes (Loci 101, 103A, 103B, 104A, 104B, 106, 107A, 107B; Figs. 6–8), whose function is unclear, were hewn in the surface of the quarry. A large partly hewn pit (Loci 105, 112; 6.0 × 6.8 m, depth 2.5 m; Fig 9) was discovered west of the quarry. It contained a probably intentional fill that consisted of various-sized roughly hewn masonry stones, fieldstones, a few animal bones and ceramic finds; a few dated to Iron II, including a bowl (Fig. 10:1) and the majority was from the Early Roman period (first century BCE–first century CE), including cooking pots (Fig. 10:2, 3), jars (Fig. 10:4–6) and a jug (Fig. 10:7). The excavation of the pit was cut short by a fraction of extremely orthodox Jews. While using mechanical equipment for the exposure of the site prior to the excavation, a jar handle, bearing a lmlk
stamped impression and dating to the end of the eighth century BCE (Figs. 10:8; 11), was discovered c. 7 m east of the quarry. A four-winged scarab is impressed below the word lmlk
(Fig. 12). Three round pits hewn in limestone bedrock were discovered (L109—0.23 × 0.31, depth 0.47 m; L110—0.47 × 0.59 m, over 0.85 m deep; L111A—0.38 × 0.42 m, depth 0.16 m). The pits seem to have been connected to a building that was dated to the Second Temple period and had been previously exposed nearby (HA-ESI 119