Mount Zion is a hill situated on the southwest side of the Old City of Jerusalem. Two thousand years ago this area would have been within the city and was occupied by upper class Jewish families.
Travelers to Jerusalem may visit the nearby Church of the Dormition Abbey, King David’s Tomb, and Room of the Last Supper, all of which are located overlooking the Old City to the north.
The Mount Zion excavation area is located downhill and to the east of Zion Gate and parallel to the city wall. UNC Charlotte is the only American university carrying out excavations in Jerusalem; all other excavations, such as those in the City of David, are carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority and Israeli universities.
The Mount Zion site has produced an amazing number of unique finds dating to the Iron Age, the Second Temple period, Islamic and Crusader periods and more. Since 2006 a professional team of archaeologists together with students and volunteers from around the world have come to dig in Jerusalem every summer. Here are some recent photographs of staff and volunteers taken at the site....