During August 2009, a trial excavation was conducted on Jaffa Road in Jerusalem, near the intersection of Jaffa Road, Sha‘ari Yisrael and Nordau Streets (Permit No. A-5726; map ref. 21960/63275; Fig. 1), after numerous potsherds were exposed during work on the light train railroad. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Citypass Company, Ltd., was directed by E.D. Kagan, with the assistance of Y. Ohayon (administration), V. Essman (surveying), T. Kornfeld (drafting), L. Kupershmidt (metallurgical laboratory) and D.T. Ariel (numismatics).
The excavation area is located 50 m east of the site excavated in 2006 (Permit No. A-4862).
Three squares were opened along the planned route of the light train railroad: two adjacent to the western end of the area and one at the eastern end, 26 m from the western squares. Remains of Jaffa Road, dating to the nineteenth century CE and finds from the Roman period (first–second centuries CE) were exposed.
A uniform layer of fieldstones (L12, L13) that served to level the natural bedrock surface was exposed in the two western squares (Fig. 2). The layer extended on the northern side of the two squares, while a layer of tamped sandy pale yellow soil (L12a, L13a) on the southern side had abutted it and was integrated within. The latter was deposited on top of a fill that consisted of small stones, placed on bedrock (Fig. 3).
Several iron objects that could be identified due to their poor state of preservation were found between the stones in the fill. A 10 para coin from Kunstantiniyeh that was minted by ‘Abd al-Majid (1839–1861 CE) was discovered in the sandy fill (L13a).
A layer of natural alluvium (L16, L21) was excavated on bedrock below the small stone fill. It contained numerous fragments of pottery vessels from the first–second centuries CE, with no architectural remains. The bedrock (L20) in the southwestern corner of the area was leveled, probably in the wake of some activity that occurred in the Late Roman period. The pottery finds included mostly fragments of cooking pots, roof tiles and ceramic stands that are characteristic of the site nearby (Permit No. A-4862). A coin, minted in Jerusalem in the year 54 CE by the Roman procurator, on behalf of the Emperor Claudius (IAA 104769), was found.
The bedrock surface in the eastern square (Fig. 4) descends precipitously in the southern part of the square. A layer of alluvium overlying the bedrock (L14) contained numerous, very small fragments of pottery vessels that were apparently washed by the rain.
The level of yellowish soil in the western squares was apparently the historic Jaffa Road. The nineteenth century CE coin that was discovered inside the roadbed aided in dating it.