Det er nyleg funne store reservoar for vatn frå gamaltestamentleg tid like ved tempelhøgda i Jerusalem. Funna blei presenterte på ein konferanse i byen i går kveld.
Vatn er viktig. Jerusalem ligg høgt oppe i fjella i ein region med varmt klima. Sikker tilgang på vatn har alltid vore heilt avgjerande. Det har lenge vore kjent at Gihonkjelda i gamal tid var sentral for forsyninga av vatn, både i krig og i fred. Nå er det altså gjort arkeologiske funn som viser at også andre «kjelder» har vore viktige i byen sitt liv.
Funna er gjort i samband med det arkeologiske arbeidet i det gamle avløpssystemet. Det har dei siste åra blitt arbeidd mykje med «hovudvegen» med tilhøyrande avløpstunnel som gjekk ned Tyropoiondalen frå tempelhøgda til Siloadammen. Både vegen (trappa) og avløpstunnelen ligg i dag under bakkenivå.
IAA har lagt ut ei pressemelding om saka:
A Public Water Reservoir Dating to the First Temple Period has been Exposed for the First Time next to the Western Wall (September 2012)
According to Eli Shukron, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “It is now absolutely clear that the Jerusalem’s water consumption during the First Temple period was not solely based on the output of the Gihon Spring, but that it also relied on public reservoirs
The excavation, during the course of which the reservoir was discovered, is part of an archaeological project whereby the entire drainage channel of Jerusalem dating to the Second Temple period is being exposed. The channel runs north along the City of David spur, from the Siloam Pool to a point beneath Robinson’s Arch. The route of the channel was fixed in the center of the main valley that extends from north to south the length of the ancient city, parallel to the Temple Mount. In his description of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period, Josephus refers to the valley by its Greek name “Tyropoeon”, which scholars believe means “Valley of the Cheese-makers”. Another interpretation identifies the valley with the “Valley of the Decision”, mentioned in the Book of Joel.
It became apparent while excavating the channel that during the construction of this enormous engineering enterprise its builders had to remove earlier structures that were situated along the route of the channel and “pass through” existing rock-hewn installations that were located along it. An extraordinary installation that was exposed in recent weeks is a large water reservoir treated with several layers of plaster, which probably dates to the First Temple period.
The reservoir has an approximate capacity of 250 cubic meters and is therefore one of the largest water reservoirs from the First Temple period to be discovered so far in Jerusalem, and this was presumably a reservoir that was used by the general public
According to Dr. Yuval Baruch, archaeologist in charge of the Jerusalem Region of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “Upon completion of the excavations along the route of the drainage channel, the IAA will examine possibilities of incorporating the impressive water reservoir in the planned visitors’ path.