$$News and Reports$$
Sep. 15, 2022

​Congratulations to Dr. Tchekhanovets, CSoC's newest  Steering Committee member​, on winning the ISF grant for researching: "The People of Roman Jerusalem: Inhabitants of Aelia Capitolina through the Lens of Material Culture."​

Prior to the large-scale excavations carried out in Jerusalem in recent years, the archaeological data relating to the Roman colonia Aelia Capitolina was extremely scanty. A few still-standing monumental arches, city coins, fragmentary preserved inscriptions, and limited historical sources were the only witnesses to its past. Nearly two hundred years of the city's history were almost completely missing, crushed between the two dominant archaeological layers – the Early Roman Jewish Jerusalem of the 1st century CE and the Byzantine Christian metropolis of the 5th-7th centuries CE. The excavations of the last two decades completely change our understanding of Roman Aelia, its urban layout, planning stages, and monumental structures. 

The research aims to fill the lacunae in the archaeological record of the people who inhabited the city of Aelia Capitolina. The work will comprise analyses of the rich material finds discovered in dwellings in the Roman city, with a focus on the complex unearthed in recent years at the Givati excavation site in Jerusalem. These finds provide a base for comparative analysis versus the numerous sites excavated in the city in the past and present that have also been dated to the 2nd–4th centuries CE. The unique character of the rich and varied finds discovered in a secure archaeological context sealed by the 363 CE earthquake, particularly when synchronized with finds from other excavations in the region, provides an outstanding opportunity for analyzing the social, gender, consumer, and religious roles and preferences of the city's residents as seen through their material culture.