Ancient Quarry Uncovered in Jerusalem
A massive quarry , along with workers tools and a 2,000 year-old key, have been uncovered at an excavation site in the Ramat Shlomo Quarter, Jerusalem, prior to the paving of a highway, the Israel Antiquities Authorities (IAA) announced.
The area of quarry that has so far been unearthed covers an area of around 11,000 square feet and dates back to the Second Temple Period (538 BC to AD 70). From this site, huge stones measuring about 6.5 feet in length and weighing hundreds of tonnes, would have been extracted from the site and used in the construction of the city’s ancient buildings.
"The quarrying phenomenon created a spectacular sight of bedrock columns and steps and craters of sorts that were the result of the rock-cuttings," Irina Zilberbod, IAA excavation director, said in a statement. "What remained are rock masses in various stages of quarrying, and there were those that were found in a preliminary stage of rock-cutting prior to detachment."
Archaeologists suggest that the site was used due to its abundance of Meleke rock, which is easily quarried and hardens immediately after being cut and shaped. The transportation of the rocks would also have been made easier by its location which was elevated above the city of Jerusalem, enabling the stones to be taken downhill. However, scientists remain perplexed as to how the giant stones would have been moved along the road to the area of construction.