Ancient water reservoir 370.
(photo credit: Israel Antiquities Authority)
A large water reservoir dating to the First Temple period was uncovered
during archaeological excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities
Authority (IAA), in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority,
near Robinson's Arch in Jerusalem.
The excavation which exposed
the reservoir is part of ongoing efforts to map ancient Jerusalem's
entire drainage channel. The findings, together with other discoveries
from the past year, will be presented on Thursday at the 13th annual
conference on the “City of David Studies of Ancient Jerusalem.”
recently discovered reservoir, with an approximate capacity of 250
cubic meters, is one of the largest water reservoirs ever discovered
from the First Temple period. Due to its size, archaeologists believe
the reservoir was designed for and used by the general public.
to Eli Shukron, the excavation director on behalf of the Israel
Antiquities Authority, “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."
Dr. Tvika Tsuk, chief archaeologist of
the Nature and Parks Authority and an expert on ancient water systems,
presumed that “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."
She added that the reservoir's
general characteristics typify the First Temple period and resemble
ancient water systems previously found near Beersheva, Arad and Bet
Upon completion of the excavations, the IAA will examine
the possibility of turning the water reservoir into a tourist
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