CRASL: Center for Research & Archaeology of the Southern Levant

PROJECT UJHT - Underground Jerusalem Heritage Trail

Underground Jerusalem Heritage Trail

Map of GPR Sites in Old City of Jerusalem

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One of CRASL's flagship projects is what we call the "Underground Jerusalem Heritage Trail". Since 2003 we've been working on sub-surface GPR studies in the Old City of Jerusalem. Historically this was the Upper City prior to the Roman Destruction. By piecing together non-invasive studies in public areas we can learn more about the history of this ancient location without disturbing its day-to-day bustling activities. Click for an enlarged map and details of the areas we have surveyed so far.

Mapping Underground Jerusalem with GPR and GIS

German Hospice - St. Mary's Teutonic Church - 2003 - Click for Details Walkway near Kotel - 2010 Courtyard near Burnt House - 2010 - Click for Details Miklat - Underground Community Shelter - 2010 - Click for Details Courtyard near Nea Church - 2010 - Click for Details Map of GPR Sites in Old City of Jerusalem

Since 2003 Dr. Jessie Pincus has been working to create a sub-surface map of the Upper City of Jerusalem prior to the Roman Destruction, first begun as part of her undergraduate research. The initial surveying and extensive GPR work was completed at the Church and Hospital of St. Mary of the Teutonic Knights that sits above the Roman Destruction and at the apex of what was the remains of the historic Upper City.

During this previous summer 2010 season we added 4 new grids of GPR acquired data of areas at the same level as the Roman destruction of the city in 70 CE. Portions of this area were later utilized during the Byzantine period in the creation of the famous Nea Church. These surveyed areas link to the surrounding archaeological sites and thus sub-surface stratigraphy of the city can be continued. After the city was damaged during the 1967 war, intense archaeological excavation was completed. Many areas were also simply filled in for preservation and will not be further excavated in coming years. By creating a sub-surface underground map of the cavities that many buildings are built upon, we are able to invest in heritage tours of the city's destruction by the Romans in 70 CE, in addition to potential prevention of collapse of buildings that people are presently living in on top of the yet unknown cavities they are built upon.

Working in close collaboration with members of the Old City municipality, this project has tremendous value in the field of city planning and facility management. With the enormous increase of tourists to the Old City of Jerusalem in coming years and the historical importance of the sites there will be numerous opportunities for academic collaborations as this project unfolds.

Click for Enlarged Map of GPR Sites
Ground Penetrating Radar Studies

We can't do it without you! Help us fill in our map over the next three years.

We are seeking funding and support to complete this worthy project. A detailed proposal is available and can be supplied upon request.

Help us preserve the heritage which lies beneath our feet at the center of Jerusalem, and the focal point of Western Civilization for the last 2000 years.

Contact us
if you are interested in participating!

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