Graffiti featuring name of 15th-century Christian pilgrim found on Mount Zion in Jerusalem

Blessed is Hashem from Tzion, He who dwells in Yerushalayim. Hallelujah.

Psalms

135:

21

(the israel bible)

October 20, 2022

2 min read

A graffiti featuring the name and family emblem of a 15th-century Christian pilgrim was uncovered on a wall in the “King David Tomb Complex” on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Thursday.

The IAA archaeologists have been carrying out a survey of the structure in order to document graffiti and inscriptions left over the centuries by pilgrims, both Christian and Muslim. The team, including Michael Chernin and Shai Halevi, uncovered dozens of hidden inscriptions in several languages, using multispectral photography and advanced technological methods developed by the IAA for the research of the Judean Desert scrolls.

The inscriptions include one featuring the name of Adrian von Bubenberg, one of Switzerland’s national heroes.

According to historical records, von Bubenberg visited Jerusalem and the Holy Land in 1466.

“In the Mamluk period, between 1332–1551, the building complex adjacent to the traditional Tomb of King David was owned by the Monks of the Franciscan Catholic Order,” Chernin and Halevi said.

Von Bubenberg is considered one of the central figures in the history of Switzerland. He was born to a noble family in 1424, and he served as a Mayor of Bern. However, he is mostly known for leading the Swiss Confederate army in the Battle of Murten against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, in order to protect the independence of Switzerland. Thanks to von Bubenberg’s mighty victory against a powerful enemy, the Swiss military acquired its reputation as a formidable army, which helped deter attacks and maintain the country’s independence until modern times.

Buried in front of the Cathedral of Bern after his death in 1479, von Bubenberg is honored with a statue and many streets around the country.

Since both von Bubenberg and his son, also named Adrian, visited Jerusalem, the archaeologists say it is impossible to determine with certainty to whom the inscription they uncovered refers to.

The new discoveries were presented during a joint conference of the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University, on “New Archaeological Studies in Jerusalem and the Vicinity”.

“The research carried out in Jerusalem embraces religions and cultures worldwide,” said IAA Director Eli Escusido. “Believers, pilgrims and visitors seeking to make contact with sanctified Jerusalem, left traces that the Israel Antiquities Authority researchers reveal and record on a daily basis. All these remains contribute to the fascinating picture.”

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