Archaeologists Believe They Have Found King David’s “Waterway”

November 1, 2008 at 6:53 am Leave a comment

jerusalem-western-wall.jpgThe “gutter,” or water system mentioned in the Bible
as the way King David’s men conquered Jerusalem may have been found.
Dr. Eilat Mazar, an archaeologist excavating the City of David, the
most ancient part of Jerusalem, believes it has, and is to present her
findings this evening at a seminar at the Hebrew University of

The excavations, carried out under the auspices of
the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology, are funded by the
Shalem Center and the Elad organization that also purchases buildings
in the Silwan neighborhood, where the City of David is located, to
populate the area with Jews.

Mazar offers a revolutionary interpretation of the “gutter”
mentioned in 2 Sam. 5:8. Most scholars believed that David conquered
Jebus, which later became known known as the City of David, through the
water system.

But Mazar believes the water system served to purify
David’s warriors, first among them his chief of staff, Joab, after the
city had already been conquered.

She says that purification was necessary because the Bible states
they had to fight against the “blind and the lame,” and in so doing
would have become impure. She notes the use in the relevant verse of
the Hebrew root naga (touch) in relation to the “gutter,” a word
usually involving matters of purity.

Archaeologists once believed the “gutter” was the famous water
shaft discovered by Charles Warren in the 19th century, but recent
finds have disproved this theory.

Mazar says the opening of the channel she believes is the “gutter”
was uncovered by chance last winter after a snowfall in the excavation
area known as Area G, beneath remains from the end of the First Temple
period. Since then, “some 50 meters of the tunnel have been measured.
The measurements of the channel are suitable for passage by people,”
she asserts. “It continues north, in the direction of the Temple Mount,
as well as south, and is all within the ancient city and connected to
the huge building I identify as David’s palace.”

Mazar suggests that when what she views as David’s palace was built
in the 10th century, the channel was apparently incorporated to bring
water to a large nearby pool. At the end of the First Temple period
(the beginning of the sixth century), according to Mazar, it was
transformed for use by Jerusalemites fleeing the Babylonian siege.
Whole oil lamps typical of the end of the First Temple period were
found in the channel.



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