Major Archeological Find at Western Wall

Leah Raphael

Excavations being conducted opposite the Western Wall Plaza have uncovered an aqueduct that brought water to the Holy Temple, as well as a ritual bath from that period. The never-before-excavated area is situated behind the Western Wall police station, adjacent to the plaza where millions of worshipers and tourists come each year to visit the Western Wall and Temple Mount.

The new archaeological find uncovers a missing link in the ancient water system, known as the “Lower Aqueduct” which channeled water from Solomon’s Pools near Bethlehem (located miles south of Jerusalem) directly to the national focal point of Jewish worship – the Temple Mount. Solomon’s pools, situated just north of the modern Jewish town of Efrat, covers an area of about 7 acres and are capable of containing three million gallons of water. A lengthy aqueduct conveyed the water from the lowest pool through Bethlehem, across the Gihon valley, along the western slope of the Tyropoeon valley, and into the cisterns underneath the Temple Mount. Today, the water from the pools reaches only Bethlehem due to the destruction of the aqueducts.

The plastered hewn-stone mikva (ritual bath) unearthed at the excavation is from the Second Temple period. It was originally situated in the foundation level of a private home during the time of the Second Temple.

January 15, 2007 | Comments Off on Major Archeological Find at Western Wall

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