An ancient aqueduct that served as the principal
water supply to the Sultan's Pool outside the Old City of Jerusalem has
been uncovered during a recent archeological excavation, the Israel
Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday.
aqueduct, which supplied pilgrims and residents with water for both
drinking and purification, was discovered in a salvage excavation in
the city's Mishkenot Sha'ananim
neighborhood ahead of the planned
construction of the Montefiore Museum at the site, the state-run
archeological body said.
The upscale district overlooking the Old City walls, which is
now a top city attraction for artists and painters, was the first
Jewish neighborhood outside the Old City.
Currently a popular venue for large outdoor cultural events in
the city, Sultan's Pool, located at the foot of the neighborhood, was
for hundreds of years one of the city's most important water
The aqueduct was repeatedly used and repaired for
about two thousand years, dating back to the Second Temple period, to
supply the many pilgrims who flocked to Jerusalem with drinking water,
said Dr. Ron Beeri, director of the excavation at the site.
The recent excavation focused on a section of the previously
uncovered "low level" aqueduct, one of two ancient water conduits that
originated in the Hebron
Highlands and Solomon's Pools and terminated
in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount
He said that the location of the aqueduct was
"extremely successful and efficient," noting that his team had
uncovered aqueducts dating from four different periods at the site,
ranging from the Byzantine to the Ottoman.
The impressive, three-meter high Ottoman-era aqueduct found
during the dig included a tower and a ceramic pipe which diverted water
to Sultan's Pool, as well as to a public fountain which was built for
The low-level aqueduct is to be incorporated in the planned
Montefiore Museum to be built by the Jerusalem Foundation at the site.