Excavations were resumed in June on Mount Zion after a long hiatus (since 2000).  The “Mount Zion Archaeological Expedition is directed by Shimon Gibson and James Tabor and looks very promising. 

After only five days of fieldwork this summer, they report the discovery of:

  • Well-preserved houses from the 1st century A.D.
  • Clear abandonment of the area during the Late Roman period (c.70-330 A.D.)
  • Preservation of the area during construction of the Nea Church (c. 530 A.D.)

You can read a 5-page report about the site and excavation (pdf, via Dr. Jim West).  Two seasons are planned for 2008 and it sounds like they will accept students as volunteers.  There are not many excavations in Jerusalem that are open to volunteers, so you might want to see what you can do to get in on this one.  I can personally testify that working in an excavation with Shimon Gibson is interesting and rewarding.

Mt Zion and Hinnom Valley aerial from se, tb010703
Mount Zion from southeast