During July 2012, a salvage excavation was conducted in Area G of the City of David (Permit No. A-6546; map ref. 222454–556/631212–74), for the purpose of conservation. The excavation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was directed by J. Uziel, with the assistance of T. Asma’in and F. Abu Ta‘ah (conservation) and V. Essman, Y. Shmidov and N. Zak (surveying and drafting).
An area (1.2×2.4 m; Fig. 1) was excavated in the middle of Area G, between remains that had been exposed by Y. Shiloh and by K.M. Kenyon and R.A.S. Macalister before him (Shiloh 1984; Steiner 2001; Macalister and Duncan 1926). The fill located between Walls 373 and 741, at the northeastern end of the compartment-like structure adjacent to the stepped-stone structure, was excavated to conserve and restore the layers revealed in Shiloh’s excavations. The eastern side of the excavation was bordered by the rear northwestern wall (W323) of Ahi’el’s House.
Shiloh ascribed the walls of the compartment-like structure in Stratum 16 to Late Bronze Age II, a dating disputed by many scholars. Excavating the fill between the walls (depth 1.4 m) revealed a modern layer that filled the area and was probably the collapse of the section above. The compartment-like structure and the section above it were cleaned for the purpose of re-documenting the remains (Fig. 2). The poorly preserved state of the compartment-like structure’s walls, which caused them to fall apart, hampered our efforts to clean them.
The excavation made it possible to redocument the remains uncovered by Shiloh and integrate them with those exposed in more recent excavations in the City of David, as well as conserve and restore the area. No finds that can aid in dating the structure and its relation to the stepped-stone structure were collected.
Macalister R.A.S. and Duncan J.G. 1926. Excavations on the Hill of Ophel, Jerusalem 1923-1925. London.
Shiloh Y. 1984. Excavations at the City of David I: 1978–1982, Interim Report of the First Five Seasons (Qedem 19). Jerusalem.
Steiner M.L. 2001. Excavations by K.M. Kenyon in Jerusalem 1961-1967 III: The Settlement in the Bronze and Iron Ages. (Copenhagen International Series 9). Sheffield.