Friday, December 23, 2005

MORE ON THE POOL OF SILOAM: The story of its excavation is being recycled in Haaretz for the holidays, but with new information. The article also notes other recent discoveries, such as a cache of cylinder seals near Warren's Shaft.
True size of Pool of Siloam discovered due to sewer blockage
By Nadav Shragai, Haaretz Correspondent

If the central sewage line for Jerusalem's Old City, which runs down the slope of the village of Silwan, had not gotten blocked a year ago, it would probably have been many years before we would have discovered the real dimensions of the historic Pool of Siloam from the Second Temple Period.

The pool, whose present small dimensions date from Byzantine times, is the outlet for the spring water coursing through the ancient Hezekiah's tunnel. It was once huge - three to four dunams.

And if the huge dimensions of the pool had not been discovered, it is doubtful that the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Elad association, which is working for the development of the area also known as the City of David, would not have come across the dramatic discovery now underway: the far end of a street dating from the Herodian period, which begins at the outer southwestern corner of the Temple Mount and is familiar to visitors to the Western Wall.


UPDATE: evidently those "cylinder seals" in the English version are "seals and bullae" in the Hebrew article. This according to Victor Avigdor Hurowitz, who also notes some other glitches in a post on the ANE list.

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