Ancient quarry unearthed in Jerusalem
|View of the quarries. [Credit: Skyview Company/Israel Antiquities Authority]|
Zilberbod explains, “The pick axes were used to cut the severance channels around the stone block in the bedrock surface and the arrowhead-shaped detachment wedge, which is solid iron, was designed to detach the base of the stone from the bedrock by means of striking it with a hammer. The key that was found, and which was probably used to open a door some 2,000 years ago, is curved and has teeth. What was it doing there? We can only surmise that it might have fallen from the pocket of one of the quarrymen”.
|Some of the artefacts recovered [Credit: Clara Amit/Israel Antiquities Authority]|
The question arises: why did the quarrymen select this specific region. Researchers speculate that the answer to this lies in the Meleke rock formation found there, which is a type of rock that is easily quarried and hardens immediately after it is hewn.
|An iron key found in the quarry [Credit: Clara Amit/Israel Antiquities Authority]|
Another puzzle regarding the transportation of such large stones is how were they actually moved? Presumably this was accomplished by means of oxen and wooden rollers, but the contemporary historical sources also mention giant wooden lifting devices.
Source: Israel Antiquities Authority [May 08, 2013]