New segment of Roman-era aqueduct to Jerusalem uncovered

May 29, 2022 by TPS
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The aqueduct was the main source of water supply to Jerusalem consecutively for 2000 years.

The excavations. (Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority)

Towards Jerusalem Day, the Israel Antiquities Authority will host the public without cost at the archaeological excavation in Armon Hanatsiv as well as in several other fascinating archaeological sites in the city.

A segment of the Low-Level Aqueduct to Jerusalem has been exposed over the last few weeks in the neighbourhood of Armon Hanatsiv, situated south of the Old City. The project was conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), with the Jerusalem Municipality and the Moriah Jerusalem Development Corporation, to make the 2,000-year-old engineering feat visible and accessible to the public.

The Low-Level Aqueduct winds along a route of 21 km. from Solomon’s Pools, located south of Bethlehem, to the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem with a very slight gradient- descending just over 1 meter along every kilometre on average.

This amazing water system, initiated by the Hasmonean kings to increase the water supply to Jerusalem and in particular to the Temple Mount, “astounds us until this very day,” the IAA said, and “due to the aqueduct’s ingenuity and quality,” continued to be used until the British Mandate 100 years ago when the invention of electric pumps replaced it.

Ya’akov Billig, an IAA researcher who studied the ancient aqueducts to Jerusalem, said that “two aqueducts brought water from Solomon’s Pools, located between Bethlehem and Efrat, to Jerusalem- the Low-Level Aqueduct and the High-Level Aqueduct. It amazes us to think how they managed in antiquity to make the accurate measurements of elevation along such a long distance, choosing the route along the mountainous terrain and calculating the necessary gradient, all this without the modern sophisticated instruments we have today”.

Segments of the Low-Level aqueduct are being revealed under Alkachi Street in the Armon Hanatsiv neighbourhood, in an excavation directed by Alexander Wiegmann of the IAA. Following the excavation, conservation experts will do preservation work on the remains for their exhibition in a park for the visitors.



One Response to “New segment of Roman-era aqueduct to Jerusalem uncovered”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Roman aqueduct 2000 years ago but recent reports say the Jordan River is polluted in places due to over use and by the removal of water in the upper reaches at the expense of those living further down the river.

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