Ancient Jerusalem is the setting for two articles in this issue. The first relates a little known escapade of a group of adventurers in the early years of this century who, while digging for gold and silver treasure, stumbled onto other archaeological riches. The second story focuses on the recently completed excavations adjacent to the Temple Mount, which for 10 years drew volunteers from all over the world to help uncover the remains of Herodian, Byzantine, and Moslem Jerusalem.
In his article, “In Search of Solomon’s Lost Treasures,” Neil Silberman recounts how a group of imaginative Englishmen, equipped with time, money and a Danish clairvoyant, embarked on a mission to find the lost treasures of King Solomon’s Temple. The expedition might have ended as a footnote to early 20th century archaeological history were it not that the great Jerusalem scholar, Père Louis Hugues Vincent, was enlisted as a consultant to the group. Père Vincent’s records are the lasting contribution of an improbable quest. The Parker Mission article is excerpted from Silberman’s forthcoming book, Digging for God and Country: The Secret History of Biblical Archaeology (Alfred A. Knopf). A writer by profession, the author graduated from Wesleyan University in 1972 and then spent the next four years studying and working in Biblical archaeology in Jerusalem.