An ancient aqueduct that served as the principalwater supply to the Sultan's Pool outside the Old City of Jerusalem hasbeen uncovered during a recent archeological excavation, the IsraelAntiquities Authority announced Tuesday.
Theaqueduct, which supplied pilgrims and residents with water for bothdrinking and purification, was discovered in a salvage excavation inthe city's Mishkenot Sha'ananim neighborhood ahead of the plannedconstruction of the Montefiore Museum at the site, the state-runarcheological body said.
The upscale district overlooking the Old City walls, which isnow a top city attraction for artists and painters, was the firstJewish neighborhood outside the Old City.
Currently a popular venue for large outdoor cultural events inthe city, Sultan's Pool, located at the foot of the neighborhood, wasfor hundreds of years one of the city's most important waterreservoirs.
The aqueduct was repeatedly used and repaired forabout two thousand years, dating back to the Second Temple period, tosupply 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 previouslyuncovered "low level" aqueduct, one of two ancient water conduits thatoriginated in the Hebron Highlands and Solomon's Pools and terminatedin Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
He said that the location of the aqueduct was"extremely successful and efficient," noting that his team haduncovered aqueducts dating from four different periods at the site,ranging from the Byzantine to the Ottoman.
The impressive, three-meter high Ottoman-era aqueduct foundduring the dig included a tower and a ceramic pipe which diverted waterto Sultan's Pool, as well as to a public fountain which was built forpilgrims.
The low-level aqueduct is to be incorporated in the plannedMontefiore Museum to be built by the Jerusalem Foundation at the site.