In March–April 2014, a salvage excavation was conducted on Daskal Street in the Ramat Danya neighborhood of Jerusalem (Permit No. A-7091; map ref. 217405/630052; Fig. 1), following the discovery of a cistern in a trial trench. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority at the initiative of Yehiel and Edna Shiloh, was directed by S. Mizrahi, with the assistance of N. Nahama (administration), I. Novoselesky and L. Oz (antiquities inspection), A. Peretz (field photography), Y. Shmidov and V. Essman (surveying and drafting) and B. Dolinka (pottery reading).
One square (4.0 × 5.9 m) was opened on a spur descending to the southwest. A rock-hewn cistern and conical cupmark were discovered (Figs. 2–4). The cistern, which was round (L102; diam. 1.5 m, depth 1.62 m), was carelessly hewn in limestone bedrock sloping to the south (L100). Inside, a layer of brown soil, debris and stones overlay a burnt level (L104) of charcoal, burnt stones and small quantity of pottery sherds. Below the burnt level was a layer of brown soil, small fieldstones and remains of light plaster, mixed with pottery sherds and black gravel, that lined the cistern from its bottom to midway up its sides (L105). A fragment of a Gaza-type amphora and a bowl dating to the Ottoman period (eighteenth–nineteenth centuries CE) were found in the fill. A conical cupmark (L101; diam. 0.3 m, depth 0.18 m; Fig. 5), tapering toward the bottom, was discovered c. 0.3 m west of the cistern.
Another bedrock surface (L103; 1.5 × 2.8 m) was exposed in the west of the excavation square. Water dissolved the rock and formed an irregular depression (diam. 1.20 m, depth 1.14 m). Light brown alluvial fill mixed with a few pottery sherds was found on the surface (Fig. 6).
The cistern went out of use in the Late Ottoman period. The cistern was used at least once in a later phase, but the burnt marks inside it show that it was not used as a cistern. The cupmark near the cistern may have been used to water livestock.
Kloner A. 2000. Survey of Jerusalem: The Southern Sector (Archaeological Survey of Israel). Jerusalem.
Re’em A. and de Vincenz A. 2006. Installations and Burial Caves in Ramat Sharet, Ramat Denya, Jerusalem. ‘Atiqot 54:31*–45* (Hebrew; English summary, pp. 156–158).