During July 2008, an archaeological survey was conducted along the sides of old Derekh Bet Lehem, in the section between the Jebel el-Mukkabbir and Ras el-‘Amud neighborhoods (License No. S-54/2008; map ref. 22290–355/62900–3118; Fig. 1), prior to widening and rehabilitating the road. The survey, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the East Jerusalem Development Company, was carried out by Z. ‘Adawi and D. Levy, assisted by B. Touri.
The surveyed road section (length c. 3 km; Survey of Jerusalem, the Northeastern Sector, Map 102; Survey of Jerusalem, the Southern Sector, Map 106) extends from the northeastern spurs of the Talpiyot neighborhood, via Nahal Qidron, to the southern outskirts of the Ras el-‘Amud neighborhood. An area of 20–50 m was surveyed on either side of the road and thirty-nine sites were documented.
The surveyed area is characterized by rocky and precipitous slopes and the predominant bedrock is soft limestone of the Senonian Epoch. Remains could not be documented in many parts of the examined area that were covered with dry thorny vegetation at the time of the survey.
The surveyed sites included farming terraces (9, 14), building remains (31), cisterns (4, 16), burial caves (3, 5, 8, 10, 22–26, 29, 30, 32, 34, 35, 39), rock-cuttings (12, 15, 17–20, 27, 28, 33, 36) and cavities, which were partly natural and in others (1, 2, 6, 7, 11, 13, 21, 37, 38), remains of quarrying were visible. A small number of potsherds in the surveyed area dated to Iron Age II, but the date of most pottery fragments ranged from the Early Roman to the Ottoman periods.