uncovering ancient Jerusalem


Phase 2 of the Ophel Excavation Reopens

Phase 2 of the Ophel Excavation Reopens

Four months after phase 2A of the Ophel Excavation concluded Dr. Eilat Mazar and her staff went back to the field on April 22 for Phase 2B. In this continuation of the second phase, Dr. Mazar will continue to reveal more of the massive First Temple period structures along the eastern part of the Ophel area.

The workers on the dig are comprised of Israeli students and workers along with 14 students or alumni of Herbert W. Armstrong College sent to Jerusalem from Edmond, Oklahoma to participate in the excavation.

To follow the events on the ground in Jerusalem and watch as Dr. Mazar uncovers the fascinating history of Jerusalem, check back at KeytoDavidsCity.com for regular updates, pictures and videos as the excavation progresses.

December Photo Galleries Added

December Photo Galleries Added

We’ve added our latest batch of photos to the website, including the pictures from the last days on the excavation before it concluded Dec. 31, 2012. In her concluding remarks to KDC viewers, Dr. Mazar said:

We are ending now the excavations of 2012, but this is not a goodbye–because we are going to continue revealing more of ancient Jerusalem and continuing our excavation during 2013. We surely hope you enjoyed what we tried to share with you and show you in real time: our excavations, findings and atmosphere, everything related. And we’re going to continue doing so. So, see you soon, and hope you enjoyed!

December 2012: Digging

December 2012: Farewell … For Now

A small part of our crew remains in Jerusalem to help Dr. Mazar process the finds of the 2012 excavation. Stay tuned for future updates and pictures as we continue working with Dr. Mazar to catalogue the finds of the dig.


KDC Awareness Spreads

On Dec. 31, 2012, the second phase of Dr. Eilat Mazar’s excavation on the Ophel officially concluded, but public awareness of the dig both in Jerusalem and within the online archaeological community continues to grow.

Our most recent feature video, “Conclusion of the Ophel Excavation 2012,” in which Dr. Mazar summarizes her thoughts on the excavation, has been publicized by several online archaeological and biblical sites this month.



Most recently, the Biblical Archaeology Society, producers of the monthly periodical Biblical Archaeology Review, posted an article about the video on their website at www.biblicalarchaeology.org.

“The Ophel in Jerusalem sits at the heart of Biblical archaeology,” the Biblical Archaology Society staff wrote January 15. “The site’s rich research history stretches back to Charles Warren in the 1860s, and the Ophel continues to yield incredible discoveries to this day. The most recent Ophel excavation season, directed by Dr. Eilat Mazar, wrapped up on December 31, 2012, and archaeologists with the Herbert W. Armstrong College produced the following video on their informative website, The Key to David’s City.”

The article goes on to link to our website and embeds our concluding feature video. It also links to Dr. Mazar’s published works and several of her articles that have appeared previously in Biblical Archaeology Review.

Exploring Bible Lands also
highlighted the video in their Exploring Bible Lands 2
2012 Archaeology News” post and Popular Archaeology published an article January 7 featuring the proto-aeolic capital, or royal Israelite capital fragment discovered in the course of Dr. Mazar’s excavation.

Several popular travel and personal blogs also picked us up earlier this month, including Ferrell’s Travel Blog (“Ophel Excavation 2012”), Luke Chandler’s Blog (“Short Video on the Ophel Excavations in Jerusalem”) and Fr. Stephen Smuts (“Ophel Excavation 2012”).

Conclusion of the Ophel Excavation 2012

Area A supervisor Amir Kohen Klonymus describes a fire pit discovered on the Ophel Excavation that was filled with ash, pieces of pottery, pieces of wood and what appears to be grapes that could date to almost three thousand years ago. Ophel Excavation sponsors Daniel Mintz and Meredith Berkman and their family also visit the site, while Dr. Eilat Mazar gives a summation of this phase of the dig.

Who’s Reading KDC?

It’s been four months since our first post and the news of our excavation experience continues to spread through the efforts of Popular Archaeology as well as other online archaeological communities.

On November 30, popular-archaeology.com published an article summarizing our post “Exposing the First Temple Period.” The article highlighted Dr. Mazar’s excitement over reaching first temple period floors that have yielded an abundance of 10th century BCE pottery, as well as exposing walls that reveal the use of a very large structure. The article said, “Like the other structures within the vicinity, a building of possible monumental proportions may be emerging. … Mazar and others suggest [these] may be the remains of structures attributed to builders during the period of King Solomon in the 10th century BCE.”

The periodical also explained part of the success of the excavation so far: “The new finds are consistent with the spectacular finds already uncovered in previous excavation seasons in this, the “Ophel” area of old Jerusalem, just below and south of the current Temple Mount ….”

In addition, HolyLandPhotos’ Blog also promoted the same video post along with another video post, “Restoring Byzantine Pottery.” They spotlighted Dr. Mazar’s quote about the accumulation of pottery found from the first temple period being perhaps the largest assemblage in Jerusalem so far. Another site, bibleplaces.com, mentioned our post “The 10th Century B.C.E. Scarab” in their “Weekend Roundup.”

With a few weeks of digging left, we’ll look forward to sharing more finds with the archaeological community and our interested audience.