Discoveries at Excavations of Mount Zion, Jerusalem’s Western Hill

Jerusalem in the 1st century (What is now referred to as Mount Zion, the western hill, would have been the lower left-hand part of the city. On some maps the Upper City)

Jerusalem in the 1st century (What is now referred to as Mount Zion, the western hill, would have been the lower left-hand part of the city. On some maps the "Upper City")

James Tabor recently posted what discoveries had been unearthed at the excavations of Mount Zion. Mount Zion is the western-lying hill of Jerusalem. It is most notably known as the traditional place of David’s Tomb, as well as the Cenaculum, or upper room, where it is believed Jesus held the Last Supper (this is, however, a very late tradition). In antiquity the western hill would have been within the city walls, but now lies outside of them. On the peak of the right hill (which was probably flat rather than pointy) is the Temple Mount, and its southern slopes upon which the ancient ruins of the City of David can still be seen.

One of the more interesting finds is a rather long inscription. From J. Tabor

“A stone vessel with an ancient inscription of ten lines written in an archaic Jewish script. Such stone vessels were used in connection with maintaining ritual purity related to Temple worship, and they are found in abundance in areas where the priests lived. We have found a dozen or more on our site over the past three years. However, to have ten lines of text is unprecedented. One normally might find a single name inscribed, or a line or two, but this is the first text of this length ever found on such a vessel. We have shared high-resolution photos with various epigraphic experts in Jerusalem who are working together to try and decipher this text. It is written in a very informal cursive hand and is quite difficult to read.”

Thanks to J. Lauer for the notice.

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One thought on “Discoveries at Excavations of Mount Zion, Jerusalem’s Western Hill

  1. Pingback: Epigraphy Skills Anyone? Deciphering Inscription from Mount Zion. « חלק טוב: Helek Tov

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