Monday, January 12, 2015

A royal escape tunnel from the Exile?

POPULAR ARCHAEOLOGY: Archaeologists Uncover Possible Royal Escape Tunnel at Biblical Site Tunnel may have been used by royal inhabitants of ancient city of Geshur near Sea of Galilee.
A team of archaeologists excavating at the ancient site best known as Bethsaida not far from the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee have encountered what they suggest may be what is left of an escape tunnel that was used by the city’s royal elite during the times of ancient Israel and Judah.

Though it is still very early in the investigation process, one entrance of the tunnel has been located, and collapsed structural debris and ground penetrating radar images have indicated possible evidence of the suspected tunnel area extending from an ancient palace structure out to an outer city wall. Similar features have been found at other ancient sites, and the biblical account, for example, documents such an escape route used by King Zedekiah and others when Jerusalem was being besieged by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar.

The article also has more on the excavations of the first-century CE city of Bethsaida and the Iron-Age II city under it. There is a large cave under Jerusalem which is known as "Zedekiah's Cave," now used for speed dating, but its connection with Zedekiah's escape route seems to be legendary. The Bethsaida excavations have also come up in past posts here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.