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Oddities of the underground

Tunneling in the service of archaeology

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Hidden beneath the present-day historical center of Jerusalem lies a city built more than 3,000 years ago. Every year it attracts more than half a million visitors captivated by its history. The entire extent of the archaeological site has not
yet been fully explored as the excavation works reveal it. Excavations are already taking place for the last past years, revealing important and significant findings of the ancient Hordus-Passage leading to the ancient Temple.

Tunnel design and building expertise in soft grounds and archaeological fill is required in order toproceed with the excavations and make the site accessible to the public. Excavation is carried outunderground, manually, using steel ribs and steel plates as temporary and permanent support. The sensitive environment demands great dexterity and flexibility. Unexpected finds can lead tosudden changes in the direction of excavation, often accompanied by low overburden heights and difficult ground conditions. Due to site complexity derived from small excavation area and risks of shallow tunneling in urbanarea, special excavation technologies are executed, such as custom-made drill machines adapted tosmall spaces.In addition to that, special measures are to be taken in order to consider the archaeological findings and to protect them during excavation. Unlike conventional excavation in which the muck is being moved away, the nature of this project is to keep the muck for further research by scientists.