Monumental: Mount Zion



“That connection will be there forever — that connection between Charlotte and Jerusalem.”

 Archaeologist Shimon Gibson




That’s adjunct professor Shimon Gibson musing on UNC Charlotte’s excavation at Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Gibson and dig co-director, religious studies Professor James Tabor, walk us through the highlights. Spoiler alert: They see a big future for the project.

The Background:

UNC Charlotte is the only non-Israeli university with license to dig in Jerusalem. Since 2008, students and volunteers have been uncovering what was once the center of the ancient city.

This summer, the UNC Charlotte team continued exploring its 2013 discovery of what is believed to be an early Roman mansion. As the crew revealed another fully vaulted room, it eased doubts as to whether ruins dating back to the time of Christ were well-preserved. 

The Highlights:

1. What they’re finding:

Prof. Gibson

2. What it means:

Professor Tabor

3. What's next:

Tabor and Gibson envision a walk-through archaeological park where visitors will experience centuries of layered ruins, leading to the jewel of the site — a home that dates from around the time of Jesus.

UNC Charlotte student at dig site

4. The deeper dig:

Get a UNC Charlotte’s insider perspective as covered by the Miami Herald.

For now, it’s back to school following the wrap of another successful dig season. 

Want to see more? Check out these links:

Executive Director of University Communications Stephen Ward catches up with the crew in Jerusalem in a special edition of the “Live Wire.”

Visit UNC Charlotte’s official Dig Mount Zion site.