UNCC Students, Professors Prepare for Archaeological Dig at Mount Zion

CHARLOTTE — In less than two months, a group of 70 people, including UNC Charlotte students and professors, will set off for Jerusalem to dig at the ancient city of Mount Zion.

The group has been going since 2008 [… Continue Reading].

Jerusalem Dig Hits Pay Dirt

Palatial ancient homes with basements with vaulted ceilings, countless pottery fragments, other artifacts left in place since deposited as much as 2,000 or more years ago—these are the kinds of things that a team of archaeologists, students and volunteers with the Mount Zion excavations project have been digging up just below the historic walls of Jerusalem, the city sacred to three of the world’s great religions [… Continue Reading].



Digging into First Century Jerusalem’s Rich and Famous

At first blush, anyone peering at the site from a distance might think it is a construction site. There are workers scattered about well-defined, squared-off open earthen pits and partial walls of stone blocks. Many of them are crouched down, close to the soil, appearing more like gardeners than construction workers. But some of them are wearing hard hats. There are sandbags placed in line at select locations, appearing to define work areas and spaces both shallow and steep. The area is fenced off, and it overlooks a busy road, traffic passing by with drivers mostly oblivious to what is happening in this place [… Continue Reading].

Archaeologists Return to Dig Key Area Near Temple Mount

A team of archaeologists and students will be returning in 2015 to excavate at a site just below the ancient walls of Jerusalem not far from the Temple Mount, an area that has recently been yielding structures and artifacts that are beginning to show a slice of times both turbulent and peaceful in a city sacred to three great religions. Among the most recent finds are an Iron Age II (8th – 6th centuries CE) stamped pottery handle depicting a double-winged scarab with the Hebrew inscription, “le-Melek…” (of or belonging to the King) representing royal or state property; walls and structures from the late 1st century BCE to 70 CE, including a Jewish ritual bath and numerous coins; and more structures, features and artifacts from the Byzantine, Islamic, Crusader, and Ottoman periods [… Continue Reading].

UNC Charlotte Mt. Zion Excavation

A group of 22 UNC Charlotte students, some of them Levine scholars, participated in a restricted site excavation in Jerusalem this summer. The site is only a few hundred yards away from the room where the Last Supper is alleged to have taken place. The group has just returned to the United States and they’ve got big news. The archaeologists announce their discoveries and discuss what’s next, when Charlotte Talks [… Continue Reading].




UNCC archaeology team in Jerusalem unearths 1st-century mansion

Shimon Gibson marvels at a depth of irony that’s borderline mythological: While digging up Jerusalem’s past, he’s also digging up his own.

The UNC Charlotte adjunct professor of archaeology has been co-directing an annual dig on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion that returns him to the historic, mysterious region he first explored as an 8-year-old. The UNCC team is using maps Gibson made in 1975 – at age 17 – as it uncovers unprecedented findings that provide important clues about life in first-century Jerusalem [… Continue Reading].

Archaeologists Uncover Life of Luxury in 2,000-year-old Priestly Quarters of Jerusalem

Archaeologists excavating in the heart of ancient Jerusalem have begun to uncover the neighborhood that housed the elite 2,000 years ago – most probably the priestly ruling class.
One of the houses had its own cistern, a mikveh (a Jewish ritual bathing pool), a barrel-vaulted ceiling and a chamber with three bread ovens [… Continue Reading].

Excavating at Mt. Zion: Jerusalem Dig Uncovers Ancient Mansion

Two years after discovering the lower levels of a first-century C.E. mansion in the Old City of Jerusalem, the Mt. Zion archaeological team led by Shimon Gibson and James Tabor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte have continued to excavate the site, uncovering more of the mansion in the process. During this summer’s dig season, the team resumed their excavation of the finished bathroom found in 2013. The archaeologists also found another complete vaulted room [… Continue Reading].

Newfound Mount Zion ‘Mansion’ May Hold Clues to Jesus’ Jerusalem

During new excavations at Jerusalem’s storied Mount Zion, archaeologists uncovered the remains of a possible mansion that’s 2,000 years old. The dig leaders think the building and its contents could shed light on the wealthy class of Jerusalem during Jesus’ day.

Artifacts and other clues suggest the mansion may have been the home of an elite Jewish family during the early Roman period, the researchers said. The building would have been located close to the expansive complex of Herod the Great, and inside, excavators found traces of an exceptional bathroom and the shells of sea snails that were valued for their rich purple dye [… Continue Reading].