The history of archaeology is filled with accidental discoveries. With all our scientific tools and methodologies, chance continues to be a major component of our success. So it was that we discovered the final resting place of the Caiaphas family, one of whose priestly members presided at the trial of Jesus. Whether we have also recovered the burial box and even the bones of the high priest Caiaphas who handed Jesus over to the Romans is another question.
In a sense, everything can betraced to the Haas family, who funded what we call in Hebrew a tayelet (ta-YEL-et), literally a “promenade,” a beautiful stone walkway on a ridge on the outskirts of Jerusalem. The Haas Tayelet wends its way for half a mile south of Mt. Zion, not far from Government House where the United Nations was headquartered before the state of Israel was established (the hill where Government House was built is identified traditionally with the Hill of Evil Counsel).