Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Section of Ancient Sewer Discovered in Jerusalem

From TIP:

Jerusalem, Jan 25 – Israeli archaeologists have discovered a new section of an 2,000-year-old drainage channel that links the ancient City of David to the plaza in front of the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site.

“It connects the dots between the where Jews lived in the ancient city of Jerusalem, the city of David, and the plaza. For the first time, they connect,” said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in an interview on Fox News.

Archaeologist Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa and his team first uncovered the sewer in 2007. The walls of the tunnel, made of ashlar stones 3 feet deep, reach a height of 10 feet in some places and are covered by heavy stone slabs that were the road's paving stones.

The channel also served as an escape hatch for Jews desperate to flee the conquering Romans after the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE. As the temple was being destroyed, people took shelter in the drainage channel and lived inside it until they fled Jerusalem through its southern end, the historian Josephus Flavius wrote in “The War of the Jews.”

...The entire tunnel could be opened to the public within a year.
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