This past year has been dedicated to excavating a substantial portion of the paved open plaza from the time of the Second Temple period that extended north of the Shiloah Pool, parts of which were previously exposed. A long, narrow stretch was excavated that extends the width of the Tyropoeon Valley, from the southeastern bedrock cliff of the hill of the City of David to the slope that descends from Mount Zion. The excavation reached the southern end of the stepped Herodian street that descends from the vicinity of the Temple Mount in the north. Sections of this street were first exposed here in the latter part of the 19th century by Bliss and Dickie. Another segment, slightly farther north, was exposed in the 1960’s by Kathleen Kenyon (Area N).
The stone pavement was preserved in its entirety. Several column drums that were found fallen or incorporated in a Byzantine wall are also dated to the Second Temple period based on their architectural characteristics. These columns apparently constituted a colonnade that delimited the Shiloah Pool from the north and possibly also supported an elongated roof along the northern side of the pool. On top of the plaza’s pavement, at both the eastern and western ends, collapse and finds dating to the Second Temple period were found that had rolled down onto it from the surrounding slopes descending from the City of David in the east and Mount Zion in the west. Based on the pottery sherds, the fragments of the stone vessels and the coins (mostly from the time of the Great Revolt) these are remains of residential buildings dating to the 1st century BCE that collapsed into the plaza. Conversely, in the center section of the paved plaza a wall that dates to the Byzantine period was built of stones in secondary use (including column drums). These are the latest building remains in the region. On top of them is an accumulation of soil and alluvium up to 10 m thick which is devoid of any building remains.