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3000 year old First Temple Water Reservoir Found in Jerusalem Old City at Davids

First Temple Water Reservoir Found in Jerusalem Old City at Davidson Archeological Park

Jordana Miller, JN1, Jerusalem, Published on Sep 18, 2012

A new treasure has been discovered at the Davidson Archeological Park in Jerusalem’s Old City. At the foot of Robinson’s Arch, on the southwestern wall that surrounded the ancient Second Temple , steel bars guard the entrance to an even older find. Archeologist Eli Shukrun — the site director from the Israeli Antiquities Authority  took us deep underground to see what his team stumbled upon while digging for other things. 15 meters down, we walked through what archeologists believe is an ancient Herodian tunnel…

Shukrun stops at hole and begins to climb down a ladder…it leads to this enormous ancient water reservoir…it can hold more than 66,000 gallons of water…or 250 cubic meters… The reservoir’s plaster and the design indicate it’s 3,000 years old… Archeologists believe this reservoir was a public one, used during what the bible describes as King Solomon’s Temple. It was built in 986 BCE and destroyed in 586 BCE by the Babylonians. Finding artifacts from that time period is extremely rare after more than 2,500 years of new construction. Archeologists used to believe that during the First Temple period, about 1000 before the common era, the inhabitants of Jerusalem would go further south to the Gihon spring for their main source of water. But now the discovery of this water reservoir, so close to where the Old Temple stood, has changed that picture…

Pilgrims, local residents, Temple workers — any and all of them could have used what this public reservoir. It’s more proof, Shukrun says, that the area around the presumed location of the First Temple was buzzing with activity and thus demanded a large public water source… Visitors were clearly moved by what the ancient ruin… The new find is a victory for archeologists who believe the Bible’s account of ancient times contains some historical truth. It’s another set back for those who deny the existence of Jerusalem’s First Temple and call the Israelite Kingdoms a myth. The design of this reservoir may have been established in Jerusalem and the used in other areas — similar ones have been found in Bet Shemesh, Beer Sheva and Arad. Shukrun is convinced there are more first temple public reservoirs in the area — he hopes he’ll be lucky enough a second time to find another one…

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