MessageToEagle.com - Israeli archaeologists have discovered a large rock-hewn water reservoir dating back to the
First Temple period (1006-586 BC) in the Jerusalem Archaeological Garden at the foot of Robinsonís Arch.
It was one of the largest water reservoirs, probably used by the general public, and had an approximate capacity of 250 cubic meters.
"It is now absolutely clear that the Jerusalem's water consumption during the First Temple period was not solely
based on the output of the Gihon Spring, but that it also relied on public reservoirs," according to Eli Shukron,
excavation director at the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Click on image to enlarge
Massive reservoir discovered near Western Wall in Jerusalem. Photo by IAA.
The excavation, during the course of which the reservoir was discovered, is part of an archaeological project
whereby the entire drainage channel of Jerusalem dating to the Second Temple period is being exposed.
The channel runs north along the City of David spur, from the Siloam Pool to a point beneath Robinson's Arch.
The route of the channel was fixed in the center of the main valley that extends from north to south the length of
the ancient city, parallel to the Temple Mount. In his description of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period, Josephus
refers to the valley by its Greek name "Tyropoeon", which scholars believe means "Valley of the Cheese-makers".
Another interpretation identifies the valley with the "Valley of the Decision", mentioned in the Book of Joel.
It became apparent while excavating the channel that during the construction of this enormous engineering enterprise
its builders had to remove earlier structures that were situated along the route of the channel and "pass through"
existing rock-hewn installations that were located along it.
An extraordinary installation that was exposed in recent weeks is a large water reservoir treated with several
layers of plaster, which probably dates to the First Temple period.
"While excavating beneath the floor of the drainage channel a small breach in the bedrock was revealed that led us
to the large water reservoir.
Click on image to enlarge
A large rock-hewn water reservoir dating back to the First Temple period (1006-586 BC). Credits: EPA
"To the best of our knowledge this is the first time that a water reservoir of this kind has been exposed in an
archaeological excavation. The exposure of the current reservoir, as well as smaller cisterns that were revealed
along the Tyropoeon Valley, unequivocally indicates that Jerusalem's water consumption in the First Temple period
was not solely based on the output of the Gihon Spring water works, but also on more available water resources such
as the one we have just discovered," Eli Shukron, said.
Click on image to enlarge
A public water reservoir - First Temple Period. Credits: IAA
"The large water reservoir that was exposed, with two other cisterns nearby, is similar in its general shape and in
the kind of plaster to the light yellow plaster that characterized the First Temple period and resembles the ancient
water system that was previously exposed at Bet Shemesh," Dr. Tvika Tsuk, chief archaeologist of the Nature and Parks
Authority and an expert on ancient water systems, explained.
"In addition, we can see the hand prints of the plasters left behind when they were adding the finishing touches to
the plaster walls, just like in the water reservoirs of Tel Be'er Sheva, Tel Arad and Tel Bet Shemesh, which also
date to the First Temple period". Dr. Tsuk said.
"Presumably the large water reservoir, which is situated near the Temple Mount, was used for the everyday activities
of the Temple Mount itself and also by the pilgrims who went up to the Temple and required water for bathing and drinking".
The exposure of the impressive water reservoir that lies below Robinson's Arch joins a series of finds that were
uncovered during recent excavations in this region of the city, indicating the existence of a densely built-up
quarter that extended across the area west of the Temple Mount and predating the expansion of the Temple Mount.
It seems that with the expansion of the Temple Mount compound to the west and the construction of the public
buildings and the streets around the Temple Mount at the end of the Second Temple period, the buildings from the
First Temple period and early Second Temple period were dismantled in this region and all that remains of them is a
series of rock-cut installations, among them the hewn water reservoir.
The find and other discoveries from this past year, will be presented to the public today at the 13th annual
conference on the "City of David Studies of Ancient Jerusalem" to be held in Jerusalem.
Millennia Old Strange Object Of Unknown Origin
At first, the finding appeared to be a dark stone, but after removing the thick crust of sand from its surface,
it was revealed a metal object of unknown origin.
So, what is this old artifact? Is it a forgery or a true piece of...
Mysterious Sacred Caves Of Tibet
Mysterious sacred caves in Tibet keep many secrets about the past and present and they are often inaccessible to ordinary tourists.
Among them, there are Piyang caves, one of the most important caves of Tibet, situated in the western...