This iron tool, known as a severance wedge, was used in a Jerusalem quarry in the first century C.E. The wedge, along with a treasure trove of ancient quarry tools from the Second Temple period, was discovered by Irina Zilberbod of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in May 2013. Pick axes, wedges and even a key—none of which had seen the light of day for 2,000 years—were recovered.
The wedge was used to split rock by the workers in the quarry. First they used pick-axes to create channels separating the stone block from the surrounding rock on all four sides. Then wedges like this one were placed along the base of the stone and hit with a hammer to sever the block from the bedrock below.
The large quarry in which this wedge was found was connected to other quarries in the northern neighborhoods of Jerusalem that have been dubbed Jerusalem’s “city of quarries” because of their deposit of meleke, a white limestone.
A. Ceramic brick
B. Iron quarrying wedge
C. Grain-grinding mortar
D. Broken incense altar
E. Neolithic ax-head
082 Answer: (B) Iron quarrying wedge
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