The City Wall. The excavation was conducted next to the northern side of the northwestern tower of the citadel, dating to the Ottoman period. Remains of a city wall (length 3.5 m, width 3 m), oriented northwest-southeast, which abutted the citadel’s northwestern tower, were exposed. The western side of the wall was built of courses of partially dressed large stones (height c. 0.8 m). The perpendicular remains of an ashlar wall (width 1.9 m) were discerned between the city wall and the citadel tower. These remains constituted the bottom part of the city wall, which was destroyed prior to the visit of Emperor Wilhelm II. Remains of a small plastered channel, aligned east–west, were exposed in the upper part of the city wall.
The Moat. Five phases were discerned in the wall of the moat (Fig. 2).
Phase A: The moat wall was built in the Ottoman period.
Phase B: The moat was filled-in close to the Jaffa Gate and the section of the city wall above it was breached, prior to the visit of Emperor Wilhelm II in 1898. A section of a new wall that connected the moat wall to the corner of the northwestern tower of the citadel was built.
Phase C: A section in the east of the moat wall was moved to the northeastern corner of the moat in the third phase. This change was done between the years 1907–1925 and it was probably meant to expand the area of the plaza, east of the Jaffa Gate.
Phase D: At the time of the British Mandate, the moat wall was moved a considerable distance to the south, thereby leaving a narrow space between it and the wall of the citadel. During the 1980s, an electric utilities room was built in the northeastern corner of the moat, which resulted in a further change to the wall of the moat.
Phase E: A new moat wall, slightly north to the route of the previous phase, was constructed in the fifth phase, during 2010. The current excavation at the site was conducted in advance of this construction.
Area B (Figs. 3, 4)
Stratum II (the Byzantine Period decamanus). Part of the paved street, oriented east–west, was exposed along the route of the modern street (L213). The dimensions of the flagstones are identical (0.55 × 0.90 m, max. thickness 0.2 m; Fig. 5). The pavement abutted in a straight line the northern side of a stone platform (Fig. 3: A; height 1 m), which was well-built of fieldstones and dressed stones bonded with cement. A channel (Fig. 3: B; width 0.4 m, height 0.5 m) was exposed at a depth of 1 m below the flagstones. It was covered with stone slabs (max. thickness 0.15 m) and coated with a layer of plaster rich in ground potsherds, which was applied to a base of small stones. The channel sloped from west to east and curved to the northeast, possibly toward Hezekiah’s Pool, located c. 20 m north of the excavation area. It seems that this was a drainage channel. Three superposed floors (L226–L228) were exposed below the channel and the stone platform. The two upper floors (each 2–3 cm thick) consisted of gravel and potsherds bonded with cement and founded on a bed of small stones. Floor 228, the bottom floor, was not excavated. Twenty-two coins were discovered below the paved street; about one third of them can be identified. The latest coin dated to 518–527 CE. Three coins were discovered on Floor 228, the latest of which dated to 395 CE. Based on the numismatic evidence it seems that Floors 226–228 should be dated to the fourth–sixth centuries CE. These floors were used intensively and renewed twice, each time raising their level. One may assume that the floors of an earlier street are below them. It seems that the street was repaved with stones in the sixth century CE and a drainage channel was built below it. The stone platform north of the paved street was a base of the stoa or the sidewalk alongside of the street.
Stratum I(A building from the Ayyubid–Mamluk Periods). A section of the northern façade of a large building (W21; length 18 m) was exposed c. 1 m south of and parallel to David Street. A trapezoid hall (3.8–4.4 × 8.1 m; Fig. 6) with a plaster floor and part of another room that had a barrel-vaulted ceiling, to the east of the hall, were exposed in the building. Next to the northwestern corner of the hall was an opening that led to the western part of the building. In the northern end of the building’s floor, next to the main entrance, a rectangular opening was discovered that descended to a rectangular water reservoir (6 × 10 m, depth 5 m to the top of accumulations on its bottom). The reservoir was covered with a well-built barrel vault. Two other openings were discerned in the reservoir’s ceiling, superposed by rooms of the building that were not excavated. An arch (width 3 m) that may be part of the city’s gate structure from the Ayyubid period was exposed in the western part of the building, next to the moat. Two partition walls were constructed in the trapezoid hall in a late phase, thereby dividing it into three small rooms. In yet a later phase, this division was canceled and the hall was repaved at an elevation that was c. 0.4–0.5 m higher than the previous floor. The main entrance to the hall was raised accordingly and was made narrower.
The High-level Aqueduct to Jerusalem. A section of the aqueduct (length 110 m) that terminates in Hezekiah’s Pool was exposed 4 m below ground level. The western part of the section extends from west to east (Fig. 1: A), after which the aqueduct turns to the southeast (Fig. 1: B) and crosses the wall perpendicularly; afterward, it changes direction to the east–northeast (Fig. 1: C) and continues to the southwestern corner of Hezekiah’s Pool. The point where the aqueduct enters the pool (Fig. 7) is c. 5–7 m above the floor of the pool, which is today covered with refuse. A plastered stone slide delimited by two walls (c. 1.5 × 1.5 m) was built at the aqueduct’s outlet into the pool. The base of the aqueduct (height 0.75 m; Fig. 8), founded on the bedrock, was built of fieldstones bonded with cement. The sides of the aqueduct (height 0.6–1.0 m) were built on the base, utilizing different size dressed stones, some in secondary use. The width of the channel tapers toward the bottom of the aqueduct (width 0.18–0.55 m). Limestone covering slabs (0.6–1.0 × 1.0 m, thickness 0.1–0.2 m) were placed atop the sides of the aqueduct. Inspection shafts, most of which were circular and a few square, were built in the ceiling of the channel at 15 m intervals. A small pool (1.25 × 2.30 m; Fig. 9) was incorporated in the aqueduct c. 30 m west of the southwestern corner of Hezekiah’s Pool. The ceiling of the pool was arched and an opening was installed in its southeastern corner.
The City Wall. A section of the city wall and an aqueduct were exposed in the mid 1890s, while digging foundations for the construction of a hotel (today the Imperial Hotel). These finds were documented by S. Merrill (1886; 1888), H. Louis (1886), C. Schick (1887) and H. Vincent (1902), who called the city wall the ‘Second Wall’ (see Vincent H. 1902. La deuxième enceinte de Jérusalem. RB 11:31–57, and references therein).
This city wall, oriented northwest-southeast, was once again revealed in the current excavation (Figs. 10, 11). It was built of different size stones (length 0.5–1.0 m), some neatly smoothed and some dressed with drafted margins, and was preserved five courses high (max. height 3.3 m). The wall was stepped and became narrower toward the top (width at base of wall 2.25 m), whereby each course was set 0.25 m back from the vertical plane of the course below it. The place where the High-level aqueduct crossed the city wall was exposed in the excavation and it seems that the aqueduct and the wall were built as a single unit. The meeting point between them was perfectly constructed and the cement discovered between the courses of the aqueduct was identical to that observed between the courses of the wall and the aqueduct.
The construction of the wall and the aqueduct were dated to the second half of the fourth century CE, after 361 CE, based on the following data:
(1) Dozens of roof tiles belonging to the Tenth Legion and dating to the second-third centuries CE were incorporated in the sides of the aqueduct; (2) Potsherds from the first–fourth centuries CE were discovered between the aqueduct stones; (3) Stones with drafted margins were discovered in secondary use in the sides of the aqueduct; (4) Two layers of plaster that contained ground potsherds, characteristic of the Late Roman and the beginning of the Byzantine periods (third–fourth centuries CE) were discovered in the bottom part of the aqueduct; (5) Dozens of Legion’s roof tiles were discovered in the layer that sealed the aqueduct’s covering slabs; some bore rectangular seal impressions dating to the second–third centuries CE. Two coins from the fourth century CE were also identified in this layer; (6) Pottery from the first and the beginning of the second centuries CE and two coins from the Year 2 and the years 67–68 CE were discovered in the aqueduct’s foundation trench; (7) A column was discovered in secondary use in the ceiling of the pool, integrated in the aqueduct (Fig. 12). Its bottom part was shaped as a torus and above it was an apophyge; this type of column is unknown prior to the second century CE; (8) Pottery from the first–third centuries CE was discovered in the base of the third course of the wall, whereas the potsherds discovered near the courses above it were from the third–seventh centuries CE; and (9) The route of the wall exposed in the excavation is identical to the route of the wall that Johns revealed next to the northern side of David’s Citadel. It seems that they are part of the same wall, which Johns dated to the third–fourth centuries CE (Johns C.N. 1950. The Citadel, Jerusalem: A Summary of Work since 1934. QDAP 14:152–158).
The dating of the wall, called the 'Second Wall', to the beginning of the Byzantine period reinforces the identification of David’s Citadel as Paza’el Tower. With the construction of Aelia Capitolina (135 CE), one of four free-standing gates without walls was apparently built here (Fig. 13). The gate, which denoted the western boundary of the city, was built in a carefully selected place that was west of the previous route of the Second and Third Walls, atop the saddle between the southern and the northwestern hills of the city, close to the beginning of the Nahal Ha-Mezuda descent. At the very earliest, the aqueduct and the city wall were constructed together in the second half of the fourth century CE. The perfect connection between them and their dating, both together and separately, leave no doubt as to whether they were built together. The wall connected the southern gate tower and Paza’el Tower to the south, and continued to the north. One may assume that the High-level aqueduct to Jerusalem, which was built as part of Herod’s water system in the Late Second Temple period, ran along the route of the aqueduct that was exposed in this excavation or very close to it; no remains of that phase were discovered in the current excavation.
The decamanus of the city from the Byzantine period was renovated and paved three times since its beginnings in the late fourth century CE. At its height, during the reign of emperor Justinian in the sixth century CE, its level was raised one meter, a water channel was installed at the bottom of it and the plaster floor was replaced with uniform stone slabs that were placed next to the sidewalk or stoa.
During the Middle Ages, the surface of the street was made narrower and the foundations of a large building were set directly on the edge of the sidewalk. The façade of the building, which was parallel to the street and faced north, included several openings and a window; the main entrance’s threshold was raised by almost 1 m above the flagstones of the decamanus.
The city gate from the time of Aelia Capitolina, which was used until the Middle Ages, was negated when the moat wall from the Ottoman period was constructed. During the Mamluk period the large building along the street deteriorated. Its opulence was obscured when the window and the opening that connected the rooms were blocked. Its main hall was divided into rooms that may have been used as shops along the street. The street level was raised once again by 0.75 m and a step was installed next to the building’s threshold, which facilitated entering the building from the street.
During the Ottoman period, numerous changes were made to the city plan, and one of the most prominent was the construction of the walls and gates. The ground level was raised to today’s street level and an array of shops was built on top of the Mamluk structures. However, the route of the original street from the time of Aelia Capitolina has been preserved until today.