Sisternene i Zippori

Gigantiske sisterner for vatn i Zippori National Park i Galilea

Sisternene i Zippori

Sisternene i Zippori. Foto: Arne Berge

Det er fascinerande å gå ned i dei store sisternene frå romersk og bysantinsk tid. Då eg var i Zippori for nokre veker sidan, gjekk eg på ny gjennom dette gamle anlegget av store vass-sisterner.

Sisternene skal ha romma 4.300 kubikkmeter vatn! Så vidt eg har forstått, blei det laga ved at ein utnytta eit skilje mellom ulike bergartar. Poenget var å samla opp vatn til bruk i byen. Vass-systemet var i bruk frå første til sjuande hundreår.

Galilea 2012 241

I skogen like utanfor hovudporten inn til nasjonalparken, er det synlege restar etter ein av akveduktane som førte vatn inn til sisternene.

Det gjekk også ein akvedukt frå sisternene og inn til byen. Her er ei informasjonstavle om denne akvedukten:

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Det er god sti mellom sisternene og utgravingsområdet, sjå bildet under.

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Jewish Virtual Library skriv:

One of the things you should make a note to see at Zippori is located about a kilometer from the main site. It is an ancient water reservoir, from the Roman and Byzantine periods. This reservoir contained a valve that enabled the regulation of water flow and was apparently built in two phases, during the 2nd and 4th centuries CE. It was in use until the 7th century. It is currently easy to miss the reservoir, but in the near future the entrance to the park will be closer to it and then visitors will be less likely to miss it.

Tsvika Tsuk, Director Department of Archaeology and Heritage at the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority described the Zippori reservoir as «A technological wonder which was dug on a geological fault, almost 2000 years ago. Being inside this space causes us to both respect and admire whoever planned it.» Tsuk noted that a similar reservoir, most likely planned by the same person, is located close to Irbid, in Jordan. According to Tsuk the Zippori reservoir was built because the springs here were so meager, water simply had to be collected.

The sheer size of the reservoir can only be felt by standing inside this wonder of ancient engineering. Today, visitors to the park can walk down roughly 40 steps into one of two reservoirs. Once at the bottom you can proceed through the tunnel that connects to the second reservoir and walk back up, using another stairway. The reservoir had an enormous capacity of 1,140,000 US gallons (4,300 cubic meters). One of these chambers is 850 feet (260 meters) long, 33 feet (10 meters) deep and 6-13 feet (2-4 meters) wide.

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