Cover image for Unearthing Jerusalem: 150 Years of Archaeological Research in the Holy City Edited by Gideon Avni and Katharina Galor

Unearthing Jerusalem

150 Years of Archaeological Research in the Holy City

Edited by Gideon Avni and Katharina Galor

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ISBN: 978-1-57506-223-5

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Unearthing Jerusalem

150 Years of Archaeological Research in the Holy City

Edited by Gideon Avni and Katharina Galor

On a cold winter morning in January of 1851, a small group of people approached the monumental façade of an ancient rock-cut burial cave located north of the Old City of Jerusalem. The team, consisting of two Europeans and a number of local workers, was led by Louis-Félicien Caignart de Saulcy—descendant of a noble Flemish family who later was to become a distinguished member of the French parliament. As an amateur archaeologist and a devout Catholic, de Saulcy was attracted to the Holy Land and Jerusalem in particular and was obsessed by his desire to uncover some tangible evidence for the city’s glorious past. However, unlike numerous other European pilgrims, researchers and adventurers before him, de? Saulcy was determined to expose the evidence by physically excavating ancient sites. His first object of investigation constitutes one of the most attractive and mysterious monumental burial caves within the vicinity of the Old City, from then onward to be referred to as the “Tomb of the Kings” (Kubur al-Muluk). By conducting an archaeological investigation, de Saulcy tried to prove that this complex represented no less than the monumental sepulcher of the biblical Davidic Dynasty. His brief exploration of the burial complex in 1851 led to the discovery of several ancient artifacts, including sizeable marble fragments of one or several sarcophagi. It would take him another 13 years to raise the funds for a more comprehensive investigation of the site. On November 17, 1863, de Saulcy returned to Jerusalem with a larger team to initiate what would later be referred to as the first archaeological excavation to be conducted in the city.—(from the “Preface”)

 

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On a cold winter morning in January of 1851, a small group of people approached the monumental façade of an ancient rock-cut burial cave located north of the Old City of Jerusalem. The team, consisting of two Europeans and a number of local workers, was led by Louis-Félicien Caignart de Saulcy—descendant of a noble Flemish family who later was to become a distinguished member of the French parliament. As an amateur archaeologist and a devout Catholic, de Saulcy was attracted to the Holy Land and Jerusalem in particular and was obsessed by his desire to uncover some tangible evidence for the city’s glorious past. However, unlike numerous other European pilgrims, researchers and adventurers before him, de? Saulcy was determined to expose the evidence by physically excavating ancient sites. His first object of investigation constitutes one of the most attractive and mysterious monumental burial caves within the vicinity of the Old City, from then onward to be referred to as the “Tomb of the Kings” (Kubur al-Muluk). By conducting an archaeological investigation, de Saulcy tried to prove that this complex represented no less than the monumental sepulcher of the biblical Davidic Dynasty. His brief exploration of the burial complex in 1851 led to the discovery of several ancient artifacts, including sizeable marble fragments of one or several sarcophagi. It would take him another 13 years to raise the funds for a more comprehensive investigation of the site. On November 17, 1863, de Saulcy returned to Jerusalem with a larger team to initiate what would later be referred to as the first archaeological excavation to be conducted in the city.—(from the “Preface”)

In 2006, some two dozen contemporary archaeologists and historians met at Brown University, in Providence RI, to present papers and illustrations marking the 150th anniversary of modern archaeological exploration of the Holy City. The papers from that conference are published here, presented in 5 major sections: (1) The History of Research, (2) From Early Humans to the Iron Age, (3) The Roman Period, (4) The Byzantine Period, and (5) The Early Islamic and Medieval Periods. The volume is heavily illustrated with materials from historical archives as well as from contemporary excavations. It provides a helpful and informative introduction to the history of the various national and religious organizations that have sponsored excavations in the Holy Land and Jerusalem in particular, as well as a summary of the current status of excavations in Jerusalem.

Unearthing Jerusalem: 150 Years of Archaeological Research Gideon Avni and Katharina Galor

Where Three Roads Meet: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Pilgrimage to Jerusalem Frank E. Peters

Part 1: The History of Research

British Archaeological Work in Jerusalem between 1865 and 1967: An Assessment Shimon Gibson

The German Protestant Institute of Archaeology (Deutsches Evangelisches Institut für Altertumswissenschaft des Heiligen Landes) Ulrich Hübner

The American Archaeological Presence in Jerusalem: Through the Gates of the Albright Institute Joan R. Branham

The École Biblique et Archéologique Française: A Catholic, French, and Archaeological Institution Dominique Trimbur

The Archaeology of Jerusalem and the Franciscans of the Studium Biblicum Michele Piccirillo?†

The Israel Exploration Society (IES) Ronny Reich

The Departments of Antiquities and the Israel Antiquities Authority (1918–2006): The Jerusalem Experience Jon Seligman

Part 2: From Early Humans to the Iron Age

Prehistory of the Jerusalem Area Ofer Bar-Yosef

The Archaeology of Early Jerusalem Aren M. Maeir

Jerusalem in the Iron Age: Archaeology and Text; Reality and Myth Israel Finkelstein

Part 3: The Roman Period

The Location of the Second Temple and the Layout of its Courts, Gates and Chambers: A New Proposal Joseph Patrich

Has the Adiabene Royal Family “Palace” Been Found in the City of David? Doron Ben-Ami and Yana Tchekhanovets

The Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem of the Late Second Temple Period and Its Surroundings Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron

A Domestic Quarter from the Second Temple Period on the Lower Slopes of the Central Valley (Tyropoeon) Zvi Greenhut

Coins from Excavations in the Domestic Quarter of the City of David, Jerusalem Donald T. Ariel

On the “New City” of Second Temple Period Jerusalem: The Archaeological Evidence Hillel Geva

Aelia Capitolina: A Review of Some Current Debates about Hadrianic Jerusalem Jodi Magness

Part 4: The Byzantine Period

The Urban Layout of Byzantine-Period Jerusalem Oren Gutfeld

Epigraphic Finds Reveal New Chapters in the History of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the 6th Century Leah Di Segni

The Hinterland of Jerusalem during the Byzantine Period Jon Seligman

Part 5: The Early Islamic and Medieval Periods

From Hagia Polis to Al-Quds: The Byzantine–Islamic Transition in Jerusalem Gideon Avni

Jerusalem and the Beginnings of the Islamic City Donald Whitcomb

Early Islamic and Medieval City Walls of Jerusalem in Light of New Discoveries Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah

Ayyubid Jerusalem: New Architectural and Archaeological Discoveries Mahmoud Hawari

Mamluk and Ottoman Jerusalem Robert Schick

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