New Integrated Knowledge based approachs to the protection of cultural heritage from Earthquake-induced Risk

Maintaining Antiquities Sites in the Western Part of the City
OrdererJerusalem municipality
Implemented by: Yoni Tirosh HaCohen
Aharon  Kiviti
Mordechai  Maoz
Joseph  Pereg

Dozens of archaeological sites are scattered across Greater Jerusalem. In the early 1990s, conservation teams of the Israel Antiquities Authority, underwritten by the Jerusalem municipality, worked at these sites where they carried out various forms of maintenance. From the mid 1990s until the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century no further resources were allocated for the maintenance of the sites. The neglect is evident in the preservation of the finds, namely the development of weathering and destructive processes at the sites, the accumulation of dirt in their immediate vicinity, the spread of vegetation at the sites and vandalism.
In 2003, as part of the preparation of a local master plan, architect Shahar Puni and archaeologist Jon Seligman conducted a survey of approximately 120 selected sites in the city, according to neighborhoods .

In 2010 the Jerusalem municipality and Israel Antiquities Authority once again joined together in maintaining the archaeological sites in the city and budgeting for a conservation team. The Antiquities Authority team is composed of a professional conservator and two conservation workers.

Sixty sites that were surveyed in 2003 and are included in the master plan will be treated in the current maintenance project. Seventy one of them were resurveyed to determine priorities for treatment. Fifteen sites have not yet been surveyed owing to security restrictions. It is hoped that the survey of these sites will be completed in 2011.

The maintenance team is primarily engaged in preventive conservation. The intervention at the sites usually includes:
• Removal of vegetation and pest control
• Stabilizing stones
• Pointing up joints with lime-based mortar.
• Sealing the tops of walls
• Filling voids in the walls.

The preventative maintenance treats weathering factors and the goal of it is to slow down the destructive processes at the site.

Examples of Maintenance Activity at Several Sites
1. Deir Ghazali (The Deer Monastery)
The site is located in an open public area in the Pisgat Ze’ev quarter (Fig. 1).
The current conservation maintenance included:
A general cleaning of the site area and removal of accumulated refuse.
Vegetation: spraying weeds with an herbicide.
The Cistern (Fig. 2): stones and refuse were found in the cistern. Most of the cistern’s plaster lining was detached from the wall; soil and dirt collected in a crack that had formed in which vegetation had taken root. The treatment included removing the refuse from the cistern, installing temporary supports to reinforce the plaster, cleaning the space between the wall and the layer of plaster, removing vegetation, cleaning the soil and refuse, a gentle washing, injecting mortar to fill the voids, stabilizing the plaster edges, completing any missing plaster (lacunae) with gray colored mortar and removing the supports.
Stabilizing a Wall: a void that had formed in the base of the wall led to the danger of its collapse. The treatment included filling the void with stones that were found nearby and applying mortar composed of indigenous soil and lime.
Stabilizing Mosaics (Fig. 3): the treatment included removing the vegetation from the mosaic floors and stabilizing their edges.
Recommendations: there are deep cisterns at the site that present serious safety hazards. Fences need to be installed around them; routine maintenance should be performed at least once a year.

>   (Hebrew)  Site Survey Card – Local Plan Jerusalem 2000


2. Khirbat Tililiya
The site is located in an open public area in the Ramot quarter. Remains of a large wall are visible at the site; however, no archaeological excavations or conservation activities have been conducted there to date.
The current conservation maintenance included:
Vegetation: weeding and spraying.
Stabilizing Walls (Fig. 4): sections of the exposed wall that were on the verge of collapse were reinforced. This also included sealing the top of the wall, completing any missing stonework and pointing up joints.
Recommendations: Install safety fences and clean the site. A conservation project needs to be conducted at the site.

> Site Survey Card – Local Plan Jerusalem 2000  (Hebrew)


3.  Khirbat Beit Kika
The site is located in an open public area in the Ramot quarter. Conservation measures were carried out at the site in 1997.
The current conservation maintenance included: a general cleaning of the site and removal of refuse.
Vegetation: removal of vegetation, pruning a tree and its pest control.
Stabilizing Walls and a Vault: pointing up joints – gray colored, lime-based mortar was used inside the vault; mortar composed of indigenous soil and hydraulic lime was used to point up the joints in the outer part of the vault.
Missing stonework was replaced and the top of the wall was sealed (Fig. 5).
Recommendations for Further Treatment: repair the fences, repair the iron grating above the cistern opening and spray the area with an herbicide annually.

> (Hebrew) Site Survey Card – Local Plan Jerusalem 2000

4. Khirbat al-Ras
The site is located in the Ramat Shlomo quarter (Fig. 6). Conservation measures were carried out there in 1991 and 1996.
The current conservation maintenance included:
General Cleaning of the Site: the refuse was removed from the site in cooperation with the Jerusalem municipality.
Vegetation: weeding and spraying, pruning a tree and its pest control.
Mosaics: the edges of the mosaics were stabilized. The mosaics were covered with a layer of “Arad” sand, geotechnical cloth and a layer of soil.
The Cistern’s Plaster: the edges of the plaster were stabilized (Fig. 7).
Tops of Walls (Fig. 8): vegetation was removed and the tops of the walls were sealed with lime-based mortar.
Recommendations for Further Maintenance of the Site: spray the site annually with an herbicide; monitor the mosaic coverings and cover them again if necessary. Prevent the site from being turned in a rubbish dump.

In conclusion, as previously mentioned sixty sites will be treated within the framework of the maintenance project during the 2011 work year. The preventative conservation measures taken are not a substitute for the comprehensive conservation activity which is required at the archaeological sites and the supplementary treatment in presenting them to the public.
April 2011

To view the figures, click on the figure caption
1/ Deir Ghazali in the Pisgat Ze’ev quarter

2. Deir Ghazali – the cistern before and after the treatment

3. Deir Ghazali – stabilizing a mosaic

4. Khirbat Tililiya – stabilizing a wall

5. Khirbat Beit Kika – stabilizing a wall

6. Khirbat al-Ras in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood

7. Khirbat al-Ras – stabilizing the plaster edges in the cistern

8. Khirbat al-Ras – the top of a wall before and after the treatment

Additional Projects
 Derekh Hebron - Conservation of the aqueduct to ancient Jerusalem
 The Western Wall, The Machkame Building - Conservation of the Southern Facade of the Machkema Building
 City of David - Conservation measures accompanying an excavation in the north of the City of David
 City of David - Conservation of the Shiloah Pool and preparing it for the public
 The Western Wall Tunnel - Conservation Report for 2005
 The Western Wall Tunnels, The Hasmonean Room - Conservation Treatment of the Hasmonean Room
 The Western Wall Tunnels, The Miqve’ot (ritual baths) - An excavation accompanied by conservation, conservation of the miqve’ot
 City of David, Givati Car Park - Stabilization and post-excavation conservation
 The Old City, Western Wall Tunnels - The Rabbi Getz Synagogue, Conservation and renewal
 The Western Wall Tunnels, The Secret Passage - Conservation and stabilization after excavation
 Zahal Square - Implementation of conservation measures
 The Old City - Conservation of the western ritual bath (miqve) in the Western Wall tunnel
 The Old City - Conserving the Engineers’ Tombs in the Jaffa Gate Plaza
 The Western Wall Tunnels, The Hasmonean Aqueduct - Conservation Measures for Removing Hazards
 The Western Wall Tunnels - Removing Hazards from the Hall with the Temple Mount Model
 The Old City - Conservation of the Church of St. Mary of the Knights (The German Church)
 The Western Wall - Hazard Removal
 City of David - Conservation Maintenance
 The Wall Builders Garden - Conservation Measures
 Akeldama - The Conservation of a Crusader Burial Structure
 Ophel City Walls - Conservation of the Walls
 The Wall Builders Garden - Conservation and Development
 Mount Zion - Conservation Measures at David’s Tomb
 The Old City - A Plaster 'Pilot' Project in the Crusader Cardo
 The Ades Synagogue - Conservation of the Murals, 2013

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