Because my interest in the archaeology of Jerusalem is well known about the city, local residents often come to me with questions, finds and ideas.
Not long ago, I was asked to examine a blacksmith shop in the Moslem Quarter of the Old City. I am never reluctant to go on these excursions because I know from experience that there is much I can learn from such “archaeological” tips.
The street where the blacksmith shop is located is known as Aqabat Haladiyah; it is in the northeastern quadrant of the Old City west of the Temple Mount. When we arrived at the smithy we were welcomed by the two brothers who own the workshop, Nagi and Rafiq Baslamit. They courteously gave us permission to examine the structure in which they were busily shoeing donkeys which are used to make deliveries of heavy goods in the winding streets of the Old City.