Jerusalem, Jebel Mukkabbir, Survey

Danit Levi and Leticia Barda
Final Report
During November 2008, a survey was conducted along the eastern slope of the hill where the neighborhood is situated (License No. S-31/2008; map ref. 2233–5/6288–91), prior to construction. The survey, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the East Jerusalem Development Company, was performed by L. Barda and D. Levy, with the assistance of B. Touri (Jerusalem Region), G. Mazor (pottery) and I. Milevski (flint artifacts).
The area, located within the precincts of the Map of Talpiot [106], is c. 460 m southwest of Kh. Beit Sahur, on a spur that descends to the northeast; it is characterized by chalk deposits embedded within chunks of flint.
Twenty-two sites were surveyed, including rock-cuttings and sections of quarries (Sites 2, 3, 6–9, 21), cupmarks (Sites 1, 4, 19), a hewn channel (18) and a hewn cistern that is covered with a circular capstone and has a hewn and plastered trough alongside it (Site 14, beyond boundaries of survey). In addition, caves were also surveyed, including a large cave (Site 15) that had previously been documented (Survey of Jerusalem, The Southern Sector:141, Site [106] 38/1) and is currently used for storage, together with two other caves that are hewn in the same bedrock cliff (Sites 16, 17) and a burial cave whose opening is destroyed (Site 20) and it has a meticulously hewn square antechamber.
Field walls and farming terraces are common to the surveyed area and some are probably ancient (Sites 5, 10–13, 22). Ancient building stones in secondary use, including dressed stones with drafted margins, were incorporated in one of the terrace walls (Site 13). Potsherds that dated to the Chalcolithic period (?), Iron Age II, and the Byzantine and Mamluk periods (?) were scattered in moderate density across the slope. The collected flint artifacts included bi-facial tools and a retouched blade. The building stones and potsherd scattering indicate that an ancient site was located in the area or nearby.
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