Our project locations are situated in the central part of Mount Zion on privately held land. The objective of the of the Mount Zion Project is to advance the scientific and archaeological knowledge of an important part of the old city of Jerusalem and to expose, examine the evidence of past habitation over the course of Jerusalem’s 3,500-year history.
The immediate surrounding area shows evidence of habitation from Ottoman, Islamic, Crusader, Byzantine, Roman and Biblical eras. Our goals are to advance the research and teaching of archaeology by utilizing a variety of scientific disciplines in order to enhance the understanding of the history and cultural transformation of what is one of the world's most intriguing cities.
Lower Courtyard Excavation
Our Lower Courtyard excavation site is located on the mid level section of Mount Zion and immediately to the west of Ma’ale HaShalom St and about 130 m to the southwest of, and on the hillside above the excavation site operated by University of North Carolina at Charlotte. This site coincides with the approximate position old city features marked by Bliss and Dickey's archaeology expedition of 1894 to 1897. As with many of the archaeological sites in and around the old city of Jerusalem there is substantial topsoil and rubble cover that appears to have been deliberately placed over the archaeological areas of interest. This phenomena is been a feature of archaeology in the old city and especially in Mount Zion. Our objectives of this site are to uncover the underlying structures to the first Temple period and to look for evidence that enables us to build up a picture of life in the historical old city of Jerusalem.
Central Courtyard Excavation
This excavation site is located in a privately owned courtyard facing the former office of the Diaspora yeshiva and about 60 metres to the west of Ma’ale Shazach. Our objective at this location is to conduct a limited excavation inside the courtyard in order to better understand the stratigraphy of the area and to unravel the past history of a central part of Mount Zion. As with each of our sites this location will use team of professional archaeologists and excavation team members.
Inner Courtyard Excavation
The inner Courtyard excavation site is situated inside the Diaspora yeshiva building complex and about 80 m to the north of the traditional site of the tomb of King David. The site is bounded on all sides by buildings dating to Crusader and earlier periods.
We will provide steel support for existing buildings while conducting an active excavation program and integrate existing and ongoing use of the buildings by the Yeshiva.
This program requires civil and structural engineering of steel supports that will enable us to achieve the necessary support and walkways to enable the ongoing use of the buildings.
Lower Room Excavation
The lower room project is located on a privately controlled site on Mount Zion The room is about 2.5 m below grade level and adjacent to a wall made of Herodian second Temple period stones. This excavation site will provide us with a unique opportunity to examine the stratigraphic make up of the subsurface archaeology of Mount Zion and to be able to more accurately date the area surrounding structures that are part of the tomb of King David. Samples of mortar used between the stones will enable us to obtain material for carbon-14 dating.
Samples of rocks taken from the worksite have been analysed in a leading petrographic laboratory in Canada using thin section microscopy for mineralogical identification that has revealed structures that support historical records dating back to the period of 66 CE to 94 CE. Our objective of this site is to continue the excavations to bedrock.