The search for Jesus’ final steps: how archaeological and literary evidence reroutes the Via Dolorosa


Author/Creator ORCID





Towson University. Jewish Studies Program

Citation of Original Publication




This thesis examines the route of Jesus from the time he was condemned to death until he was laid in a sepulchre as told in the New Testament Gospels. The archaeological, historical, and literary evidence for this route, now known as the Via Dolorosa, was meticulously studied. The methodology employed included analysis of primary and secondary sources supplemented by information gleaned from personal research trips to Jerusalem. Early Jewish accounts and maps were examined as well as Roman, early Christian, Muslim, and Crusader era accounts. In addition to the Gospels, this thesis employed historical records of the development of Catholic devotional practices as well as Pilgrim Diaries from Jerusalem that reference the route Jesus walked. This thesis integrated these results along with the findings of archaeological excavations in the applicable areas of Jerusalem resulting in the re-routing of the Via Dolorosa from the site of Herod's Palace to Golgotha.