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This earpiece, perhaps of Egyptian manufacture, is apparent loot from the First Crusade sack of Jerusalem in July, 1099 (Credit: Virginia Withers)


University of North Carolina at Charlotte

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte-led archaeological dig on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion has been going on for over a decade, looking at an area where there were no known ruins of major temples, churches or palaces, but nonetheless sacred land where three millennia of struggle and culture has long lain buried, evidence in layer upon layer of significant historical events.

Virtually every dig season, a significant discovery has been made at the site, adding real detail to the records of this globally-renowned city, giving new insights to what has often been imperfectly preserved in ancient histories. This year’s findings are no different, confirming previously unverified details from nearly thousand-year-old historical accounts of the First Crusade – history that had never been confirmed regarding the five-week siege, conquest, sack and massacre of the Fatamid (Muslim)-controlled city in July of 1099.