July 19, 2019 | Times of Israel
Archaeologists excavating just outside of Jerusalem’s Old City walls have discovered an 11th century moat, the first archaeological evidence of a historically chronicled Crusader siege conducted by Raymond of Saint-Gilles on the Fatimid-controlled city, which ended on July 15, 1099 — exactly 920 years ago today.
Although two contemporary 11th century historical texts refer to the moat, its discovery was only recently made at the Mount Zion Project excavations.
Prior to the moat’s discovery, “some scholars had even doubted its existence,” said excavation co-director Prof. Shimon Gibson, thinking it “a figment of 12th century chronicles… It’s a very exciting discovery.”
Founded in 2008, the ongoing excavations are located along the southern part of the Old City wall close to Zion Gate and are led by Gibson and Prof. James Tabor of the University of North Carolina in Charlotte in cooperation with Dr. Rafi Lewis of Ashkelon Academic College. The site is part of the Jerusalem Walls National Park, which is under the auspices of the Israel Parks and Nature Authority…. (Excerpted from Times of Israel article by Amanda Borschel-Dan.)