About Shimon Gibson

Shimon Gibson

Dr. Shimon Gibson is a British-born archaeologist who has been working in Israel for the past forty years. He was appointed in 2017 as Professor of Practice in History & Archaeology in the History Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Gibson undertook his academic studies at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, where he completed in 1995 his PhD on Landscape Archaeology in the southern Levant. From 1995 to 2017, he was a Senior Associate Fellow at the American W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. Between 1996 and 1999, Gibson served as Assistant Director of the Excavations and Surveys Department in the Israel Antiquities Authority. From 2000-2017 he headed the Archaeology Department of the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem. He was a Visiting Professor at UNC Charlotte from 2016-2017. During the past twenty years Gibson conducted numerous archaeological excavation projects and field surveys in different parts of Israel/Palestine, including the southern desert region. His principal research interests are: Landscape Archaeology; History of Archaeology; History and Archaeology of Jerusalem; early Judaism and early Christianity; History of Photography in the Middle East. Gibson has directed excavations at Sataf, Modi’in, Suba, and in Jerusalem. He is currently co-directing excavations on Mount Zion. Gibson is the author of more than one hundred research articles on a variety of subjects and spanning different archaeological periods (Chalcolithic to Ottoman), and for close to two decades he served as the Chief Editor of the archaeological journal Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society published in London (now renamed Strata). He is the co-author of two scientific monographs on the antiquities of Jerusalem (on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and another on the Temple Mount), and has co-edited the Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land (2000) and The Illustrated Dictionary and Concordance of the Bible (2005). His book of nineteenth-century photographs of Jerusalem (Jerusalem in Original Photographs) was published in 2003. A popular book on his archaeological work at Suba entitled The Cave of John the Baptist was published in 2004 (Random House, London). He also published a book entitled Flights into Biblical Archaeology (2007) (Albatross, Herziliya). His book The Final Days of Jesus: the Archaeological Evidence (2009) was published by HarperOne in the States; it has been translated into nine languages. His book Tourists, Travellers and Hotels in Nineteenth-Century Jerusalem (with Chapman & Shapira) was published in 2013 by Maney Publishers in Oxford. He co-edited (with D. Vieweger), The Archaeology and History of the Church of the Redeemer and the Muristan in Jerusalem (Oxford, 2016). His most recent book is entitled: Seeking New Landscapes: One Woman’s Photographic Journey in April 1931 from Germany to the Middle East (UNC Charlotte Library 2021)


Presenter at

Spring Bible & Archaeology Fest 2023
An Iron Age Stone Toilet Seat (the ‘Throne of Solomon’) from Captain Montagu Brownlow Parker’s 1909–1911 Excavations in Jerusalem

This paper reconstructs the history of the publications relating to the results of Captain Montagu Brownlow Parker’s 1909–1911 excavations in Jerusalem, comprising the English and French versions of the book Underground Jerusalem by Père Louis Hugues Vincent, and four articles by that same author appearing in the pages of Revue Biblique. The significant part played by the English translator, Theodore Andrea Cook, is shown, and as it transpires, he is the reason why archival materials relating to the Parker expedition eventually ended up in the Palestine Exploration Fund’s archives. Importantly, an unpublished drawing by Vincent of an Iron Age stone toilet seat, which had been referred to by the excavators as the ‘Throne of Solomon’, was found among these archival materials. The paper investigates thirteen similar parallel stone toilet seats from the Iron Age II and examines what is known concerning issues of sanitation during that period in the Kingdom of Judah.

Bible & Archaeology Fest XIX, November 18 – 20, 2016
Report from Mt. Zion: The Latest Archaeological Discoveries

This presentation will discuss the results of excavations conducted since 2005 on Mount Zion in Jerusalem by UNC Charlotte. The site is close to Zion Gate and had previously been excavated by Magen Broshi in the 1970s. Archaeological remains unearthed include domestic houses dating from the Iron Age, Early Roman, Byzantine and Islamic periods. The preservation of the Early Roman (first century CE) buildings is quite amazing, with the ground story rooms found with their ceilings intact (including a bathroom and mikveh). These palatial houses probably belonged to priestly families in the Upper City. Among the many finds was an unusual stone cup from the first century CE with a cryptic inscription; the writing resembles cryptic texts known from the Qumran caves.