During May 2008, a salvage excavation was conducted on Barlev Road (Highway 1) in Jerusalem, between Ha-Melonot Junction and Shimon Ha-Zadik Street (Permit No. A-5439; map ref. 22153/63325), prior to the laying of the light transportation system railway. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Citipass Company, was directed by A. Kohn-Tavor, with the assistance of A. Ganon (administration), M. Kipnis (surveying and drafting) and D. Levy (GPS).
A burial cave and the adjacent remains of a quarry were discovered when Highway 1 was paved in the 1990s. These antiquities were covered over at the time and left as a raised area in the traffic island between the lanes. A bridge was built above the burial cave in preparation of the light transportation system’s infrastructure. In doing so, the quarry next to the eastern side of the bedrock outcrop in which the cave had been hewn, was damaged. The southern part of the quarry was destroyed prior to the excavation. One excavation square was opened for the purpose of exposing the remains of the quarry that were not damaged. The northeastern corner of the square was not completely excavated down to bedrock because a few human bones were discovered in the modern fill that covered it.
Large building stones (presumed dimensions 0.6 × 0.8 m, height 0.5–0.7 m) were extracted from the quarry (Fig. 1) by broad severance channels (c. 0.2 m). A few potsherds, the latest dating to the end of the Second Temple period, were found in the brown soil fill above bedrock. The large stones were probably used in the construction of the Third Wall, which is located c. 300 m south of the quarry.
Numerous tombs and rock-cut areas are known near the cave and the quarry, including a quarry that was exposed c. 50 m to the west and included similar artifacts (Permit No. A-5314).