Dr Shimon Gibson, landscape archaeologist, University of North Carolina
“Around the Old City, you have various places connected with the Gospels, but they’ve all been built upon. There are very few sites like this which are open, available, and from which you can get a broad view of the Old City of Jerusalem .
Archaeologists will say ‘here’s a site, we’ll excavate it- we’ll extract information and then modern construction can take place.’ But in this case, it’s a different matter. I think it’s very important that one can look across and see Mount Zion, where the House of Caiaphus was situated, and the room where tradition says the Last Supper took place, and then further to the left I can see where Herod’s palace was with the praetorium, where the trial of Jesus took place….
When Christians go into the Old City, I think they get overwhelmed. There is so much to see. To be able to step out and then to look at the city from a distance and to be able to contemplate the narrative of the last week of Jesus in Jerusalem is possible at a site like this. Imagine that this was converted into a park and a place where pilogrims and tourists could think about things relating to the Gospels. It would be an amazing site and it has all of the potential to give that. You could highlight the archaeology, have a Biblical Garden…..
Here, I’m looking at the ground and I can pieces of flint and potsherds….You might come upon the remains of houses from the times of Jesus here. The landscape should be preserved.”