Archaeologists working in Jerusalem unearthed a massive quarry that dates back 2,000 years (Second Temple period).
The quarry, of which only a portion has been dug, is around 600 m2 (0.15 acres) in size but was at least two or three times larger.
The gigantic construction stones removed from it were 1.5 x 2 m in size (5 x 6.6 feet).
“Major building projects in ancient Jerusalem, such as the Temple Mount, necessitated a vast number of building supplies as well as the ability to organise and coordinate the excavation and transportation of 1000s of building blocks to the ancient city,” said Dr Moran Hagbi, an archaeologist at the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).
“In the quarry, building blocks in different stages of construction were discovered.”
“For example, prior to loading and transporting enormous, square slabs of stone to the ancient city, we discovered large, square chunks of stone about to be removed from the bedrock.”
“This quarry represents a golden opportunity for us: because some of the stones were left in place in this manner, we may imitate historical technologies and experiment with them to reproduce the procedures by which the construction stones were quarried.”
The IAA archaeologists intend to reproduce the old procedures used to separate the stone blocks and test the efficacy of methods mentioned in historical literature.
To accomplish this, they will employ replicas of ancient tools discovered in prior excavations and manufactured specifically for testing reasons.
“In a symbolic sense, the current development boom in Jerusalem provides us with an opportunity to explore and examine the great building projects in Jerusalem in antiquity,” said Dr Eli Eskozido, general director of the IAA.
“Before any development project in Jerusalem can begin, our archaeologists must unearth and investigate any historic artefacts for the benefit of future generations.”
Source: the Israel Antiquities Authority