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Israel is a land of stunning vistas, as evidenced form this amazing view.

Researchers digging in Israel continue to turn up artifacts.

and Jerusalem-based archaeologist Shimon Gibson, research professor at UNC Charlotte, co-direct the project. “The UNC Charlotte Education Abroad program runs for two weeks whereas the dig itself goes for a month each summer and some students choose to stay longer It consists of archaeological field work, lectures, and specially guided tours of Jerusalem, the Galilee, and the Judean Desert including the Dead Sea and Masada,” Tabor said. “The students get a rare opportunity to explore the ancient remains of three civilizations – Jewish, Christian and Islamic. Mount Zion offers students an intimate experience in the pically ty e r a Old City with its historic ly Land of which is a the Ho Jewish, Armenian, Christian digs in s, one pay-off e Dead Sea. l a ic g lo th Archeo t, dusty affair ing dive into and Muslim quarters, and is h ho s e refr minutes away from the resources of Hebrew University and the wider metropolis of modern Jerusalem, both came to life in ways that often made me feel Jewish and Palestinian.” quite small.” While excavating artifacts would be The Mount Zion project is an ongoing, exciting enough for most students, the multi-year archaeological excavation visitors from UNC Charlotte soon found in the ancient city of Jerusalem that themselves on the front end of the latest represents a rare opportunity to expose conflict in the region – one which was still the history of the city in a way beneficial occurring in late August. to all cultures and religions that hold “The summer program coincided with it sacred. UNC Charlotte is the only the tragic killings of three Israeli teenagers American university licensed to carry and the apparent retaliation murder of a out such excavations in Jerusalem. Tabor Palestinian boy, whose funeral procession

occurred just a few blocks from our hotel,” Ward said. “We felt reasonably safe. Israeli soldiers seemed to be everywhere. And we are only beginning to process the experiences we shared as we lived and worked amid some of humankind’s most significant history.” The area chosen for archaeological study is situated close to a number of important places in the history of the city, namely the Praetorium where Jesus was tried before Pontius Pilate, and the House of Caiaphas and the other priestly families in the Upper City of Jerusalem in the first century CE. In the Byzantine period, the area was situated at the southern end of the Cardo Maximus, which was a grand columned street and in its vicinity Justinian built a very large church in the 6th century. The crest of Mount Zion was a focus for the building of houses in the Early Islamic Period. The Crusaders and the Ayyubids built their fortifications across the crest of the hill, and in the early 13th century, the local Sultan destroyed the gate-tower, which was located in the area of the excavation. Along with the UNC Charlotte group, students from other universities as well as non-student adults, including several from the Charlotte community, also made up the approximately 40 participants in the month-long excavation. Tabor and another group of UNC Charlotte students will return in 2015, and the excavation is slated to last another three years.   Q314


UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 25

Profile for UNC Charlotte

UNC Charlotte Magazine, Q3 2014  

In this magazine we try to present an editorial package that represents a broad range of topics from a broad range of colleges, centers, ins...

UNC Charlotte Magazine, Q3 2014  

In this magazine we try to present an editorial package that represents a broad range of topics from a broad range of colleges, centers, ins...