Archaeologists uncover longest continuous section of 2nd Temple-era aqueduct

Sunday, September 10, 2023 | Tag Cloud

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Monday that the longest continuous section of Jerusalem’s ancient Second Temple-era aqueduct has been unearthed in Givat Hamatos, the Jerusalem Post reports. Measuring around 300 meters (roughly 1,000 feet) in length, the section of aqueduct was discovered during excavations for land development by the Municipality of Jerusalem.

In a statement, IAA excavation directors Dr. Ofer Shyam and Ruth Cohen said that the Jerusalem aqueduct was one of two aqueducts built by King Herod to meet the growing city’s need for water, JPost reports. The “ Upper Aqueduct” brought water to the areas now known as the Jewish and Armenian Quarters of Jerusalem’s Old City. The “Lower Aqueduct,” brought water to the Temple.

“In the late days of the Second Temple, the city of Jerusalem grew significantly. The Temple had been rebuilt and the water that flowed in conduits and cisterns was no longer sufficient for the thousands of pilgrims and residents,” Shyam and Cohen said. “Water needed to be brought to the city from a distance.”

According to Shyam and Cohen, these aqueducts are “among the largest and most complex water systems in the land of Israel – and indeed, in the ancient world.”

Notably, Shyam and Cohen added, a number of ancient coins were found in the aqueduct structure. “In the foundations of the aqueduct from the days of the Tenth Legion, we found about 25 coins scattered at relatively equal distances. In our opinion, this was not accidental: it is quite similar to the custom today, where coins are placed there for good luck.”

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