Medieval knight graffiti found in King David's tomb

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 Graffiti of medieval knights found in King David's tomb

A piece of graffiti with the name of Knight Adrian von Bubenberg, along with his family's coat of arms, was discovered on the wall of King David's tomb on Mount Zion in the Israeli capital Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said on Thursday.

Found as part of an IAA research project to document pilgrimage inscriptions, researchers have unearthed graffiti bearing the name of a Swiss nobleman who was nicknamed the Knight of the Holy Sepulcher after his pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1466.

In fact, over 40 inscriptions belonging to both Christian and Muslim pilgrims, in several languages, have been discovered during the IAA project.

The results of the IAA research were announced at the New Archaeological Research in Jerusalem and Its Surroundings conference. ;, co-organized with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University on Wednesday.

Bubenberg, born in 1424, has been named a Swiss national hero for his military conquests across Europe, in particular at the Battle of Morata within the Burgundian wars of the 15th century.

He died in 1479 and was buried in Bern Cathedral, the de facto Swiss capital of Bern, where he served as mayor for three separate terms.

A bronze monument depicting von Bubenberg can be found in the old town of the Swiss capital , on Bubenbergplatz, named after a medieval nobleman.

IAA project leaders Mikhail Chernin and Shai Halevi explained that “During the Mamluk period of the Land of Israel, the complex of buildings adjoining the traditional tomb of King David belonged to monks of the Franciscan Catholic order.

“The building served as a monastery and hostel for Western pilgrims who left their mark on the walls”, — said Chernin and Halevi, also noting that “technological methods developed today make it possible to read badly worn inscriptions.”

These technologies use multispectral photography. Using different wavelengths invisible to the human eye, one can see these ancient inscriptions, which have worn and faded over the centuries.

“Believers, pilgrims, and visitors seeking to make contact with consecrated Jerusalem have left traces that IAA researchers are identifying and documenting daily,” — added Eli Escucido, director of the IAA.

“All this ancient evidence paints a fascinating picture. Research carried out in Jerusalem covers the religions and cultures of the world.

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