During the past year an archaeological excavation was conducted at the visitors’ center in the City of David by Dr. Eilat Mazar, on behalf of the Shalem Center and the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The excavations revealed the remains of a monumental building – a public building or perhaps even a palace – that probably dates to the time of King David, that is, the tenth century BCE (the time of the First Temple). This find is of great importance because of the long-running debate regarding the importance of Jerusalem during this period. A number of water installations dating to the Second Temple period and building remains from the Byzantine period were also exposed at the site.
The aim of the conservation work was to stabilize the existing finds thereby making it possible to open the site to visits by the public in the future.
The conservation measures included:
Returning large masonry stones that collapsed during the course of the excavation to their original place.
Stabilizing and preserving the walls of the structures by means of restoring missing stone and bonding material; pointing up the joints; and sealing the tops of the walls (coping).
Filling the cracks in fractured or broken stones with bonding material.
Reinforcing the edges of the plaster remains in the water cisterns and cleaning the plaster.