A new road being built to improve traffic flow in Jerusalem exposed a massive Second Temple-era quarry. The huge stones from the quarry were probably used in Jerusalem's largest public buildings. A 2000 yr-old key and tools were also discovered.
Excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo revealed a huge quarry of more than 1,000 square meters.
According to Irina Zilberbod, excavation director, “The quarrying phenomenon created a spectacular sight of bedrock columns and steps and craters of sorts that were the result of the rock-cuttings. Some of the stones that were quarried are more than 2 meters long.
The northern areas of Jerusalem are higher than the city of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period, so it was presumably easy to transport the huge stones, some which weighed tens if not hundreds of tons, down hill along the slope to the construction sites in today's Old City.
An ancient road dating to the Second Temple period was exposed next to the quarry and it was probably used to move the large stones.
Documentation of the site will be completed within a week and the highway construction will cover up the quarry.