Archaeologist Shimon Gibson, an associate professor at UNC Charlotte, has an exciting vision for the Mount Zion excavation site near Jerusalem. The dig is a multi-year effort in the ancient city, and UNC Charlotte is the only American university licensed to carry out such excavations in Jerusalem.
The project has received periodic attention in the news and through social media. This summer’s effort again received substantial national coverage and in leading international archaeology publications.
Work at the Mount Zion site will continue for several years, toward a goal of developing an interactive attraction for the 3 million yearly visitors to Jerusalem.
“Archaeology is the material remains of the human past. And this particular period, of all the periods in Western history, is that intersection of ancient Judaism and the birth of Christianity. We’re at ground zero,” said James Tabor, professor of religious studies and co-director of the dig with Gibson, who will teach a course on the history of Jerusalem this fall at the University.
The excavation work takes place during the summer, and the artifacts unearthed are studied and catalogued during the rest of the year. UNC Charlotte students and volunteers from Charlotte, Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere help with the dig.