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2,000-Year-Old Quarry Found to Supply Stones for Ancient Jerusalem

Har Hotzvim, one of Jerusalem’s main hi-tech hubs, owes its name, which in Hebrew means “Quarrymen’s Hill,” to a much more ancient industrial activity: It is where archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority have uncovered a quarry dating back some 2,000 years, the IAA revealed Sunday, September 5.

The quarry was discovered during a salvage excavation before a new building project was set to begin. According to law, a salvage excavation must accompany all construction projects.

“The large-scale building projects in ancient Jerusalem, such as the Temple Mount, required a vast amount of building materials and the ability to organize and coordinate the quarrying and transportation of thousands of building blocks to the ancient city,” IAA excavation director Moran Hagbi said.

“Building blocks in various stages of spadework were discovered in the quarry,” he said. “For example, we uncovered large, cubical blocks of stone about to be detached from the bedrock, prior to being loaded and transported to the ancient city.”

The site has only been partially uncovered. Researchers believe it was two or three times larger than the 600 sq.m. currently exposed.

“For us as archaeologists, this quarry presents a golden opportunity,” Hagbi said. “Because some of the stones were left in situ in this way, we can copy ancient technologies and experiment with them to recreate the processes by which the building stones were quarried.”

To better understand how ancient workers operated, the researchers plan to reproduce tools and techniques known to have been used at the time to test their efficacy. (JPost / VFI News)

“Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.” - Deuteronomy 32:7