Jerusalem, the Old City, St. George Street

Meidad Shor
Final Report
In December 2015, a salvage excavation was conducted at 19 St. George Street in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City (Permit No. A-7585; map ref. 221751–60/ 631621–37), prior to renovations. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by the UNDP, was directed by M. Shor, with the assistance of V. Essman and Y. Shmidov (surveying and drawing), A. Peretz (field photography), B. Dolinka (pottery), I. Lidsky-Reznikov (pottery drawing), N. Zak (plan) and N. Sapir.
A probe (1.70 × 2.75 m; Figs. 1, 2) was opened on the ground floor of a three-story residential building that looks out at Hezekiah’s Pool to its west. The ground floor (5 × 18 m) consisted of three halls, each containing massive pillars that support cross vaults; the remains of two stone-built partition walls were visible between the halls. The probe was located in the middle hall, beside the building's western wall (W104; Fig. 3) and adjacent to one of the pillars (W102) and one of the partition walls (W101; length 1.5 m, width 0.45 m, height 0.4 m). A stone pavement (L103; thickness 0.15 m) set on a layer of soil (thickness 0.1 m) was exposed beneath the modern concrete floor (L100). A layer of fieldstones, probably a bedding for Floor 103, was discovered below the layer of earth. Below the fieldstones was dark soil (L109, L110; Fig. 4), which yielded fragments of pottery vessels and glassware, animal bones, tesserae, an Iznik tile from the Ottoman period and pieces of iron. The stone foundation (L111; Fig. 5) of Pillar 102 and of W104, to the west, was revealed beneath the layer of dark soil in L110. Another fieldstone foundation (L113) was discovered below Foundation 111. Together, the two foundations were meant to carry the structural load of the building.
The pottery sherds from all the excavated layers date from the Ottoman period, and include a dark red bowl (Fig. 6:1), a bowl (Fig. 6:2), a cooking pot (Fig. 6:4), an amphora (Fig. 6:5), a jar (Fig. 6:6) and tobacco pipes (Fig. 6:7, 8). An English porcelain bowl (Fig. 6:3) was also found. The ceramic finds date the construction of the building to the Ottoman period.
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