During September 2009, a salvage excavation was conducted at the Paz gas station on Shivtei Yisrael Street in Jerusalem (Permit No. A-5738; map ref. 221467/632496), prior to construction. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and underwritten by the Paz Oil Company, Ltd., was directed by I. Zilberbod, with the assistance of Y. Ohayon (administration), M. Kunin and T. Kornfeld (surveying and drafting) and A. Peretz (field photography).
Part of a large rock-hewn pool dating to the Byzantine period, and below it, a quarry dating to the Second Temple period, were exposed (Figs. 1–4). The center part of the area was not excavated due to safety precautions.
The eastern (L111; c. 1.8 × 3.5 m) and western (L112; c. 1.8 × 2.5 m) corners of the pool were exposed, thereby enabling to reconstruct its full dimensions (5.0 × 5.5 m). Several layers of gray plaster were applied to the sides of the pool, which contained fill composed of soil and modern debris and a few potsherds from the Byzantine period. A rock-hewn and plastered rectangular installation (L104; 1.2 × 1.5 m), probably a settling pit, was exposed next to the western corner of the pool. Only three sides of the installation were preserved; the side between the installation and the pool did not survive. Three shallow channels (depth c. 0.15 m), two of which were hewn (L105, L106) and one was natural (L108), led to the settling pit and the pool in the western part of the area. A hewn rectangular installation (L109) lined with small stones and cement, which was probably built in the modern era, was discovered north of the pool’s western corner. It seems that the pool was connected to the complex of monasteries and hostels that developed in the Byzantine period north of Damascus Gate.
Remains of an ancient quarry (L110, L113–L116), in which large building stones were hewn, were discovered in two thirds of the excavation area. It seems that this quarry was part of an extensive field of quarries that extended north of the city during the Second Temple period. The size of the hewn stones and its proximity to the city wall shows that the stones were probably used in the construction of the city’s Third Wall, beginning at the time of Agrippa I and later during the Great Revolt.