Archeological site

Numerous archeological excavations have been conducted in Saint-Peter in Gallicantu starting from 1888.

Beyond the Crusader and Byzantine ruins, archeologists wanted to trace back to the Jewish period, by excavating the rock. Investigations extended all around the church, uncovering in the East a mill and a series of silos and reserves, several Jewish ritual baths and many cisterns.

Archeological finds discovered in Saint-Peter in Gallicantu were carried and exposed at the museum of Notre-Dame de France. The latter was destroyed and looted during the 1948 war, a bomb ruined the South wing of the building. Some of the objects, much of them broken, were transferred to Saint-Pierre after 1967. They are now presented in the memorial inaugurated on June, 28th 2018 and dedicated to Father Germer-Durand.

Starting from 1993, new excavations led by Father Florentino Diez, archeologist of the Spanish university of Salamanca, uncovered, to the North of the Holy stairs, some remains of a district of small houses. In the South, a large property complex suggested Caiaphas’ palace.

Like many holy sites, the Caiaphas’ palace has been the focus of many debates among archeologists. The testimonies of the first pilgrims support its location at Saint-Peter in Gallicantu. The famous Anonymous Pilgrim of Bordeaux in 333, wrote: “When ascending Sion to leave Jerusalem, you can see down in the valley on your left, beside the wall, the pool of Siloam… As you climb Sion from there, you come upon the place where the house of Caiaphas once stood and where the column to which they tied Jesus in order to scourge him is still standing. From inside the walls of Sion, you can see the place where David had his palace.