One of the joy's of living here in the Holy Land – and particularly here in Jerusalem, is discovering antiquity. It literally is everywhere – all you got to do is dig straight down!
Let's tell you about a recent discovery – literally about 100 yards from my house.
It is a spectacular arched bridge discovered just outside the Old City walls, part of an ancient aqueduct that carried water to Jerusalem from afar.
In some of the oldest photographs of Jerusalem, one could see this stone bridge. Apparently it got covered over and now it has reappeared suddenly in much of its grandeur!
Now how did it all work? Archeologists are saying that the route of the so called 'Low Level' aqueduct, that dates to the Second Temple period, began out near Bethlehem at the large water reservoirs of Solomon's Pools. Obviously it ended at the Old City and was partly connected to the Temple compound itself.
The aqueduct runs into a largely natural yet somewhat man adapted storm runoff area called the Sultan's Pool. In order to maintain the elevation of the path along which the water flowed, the bridge was erected above the ravine.
Now one of the great things about this discovery is that it can be clearly dated to 1320 AD. The dedicatory inscription of the bridge is set in it and clearly readable. During this time, the Mamlukes ruled Jerusalem, and are noted for their extensive building efforts. Archeologists are saying it was apparently constructed to replace an earlier bridge that was from the Second Temple period and, more than likely, part of the original aqueduct.
Just another one of the exciting things you may be able to see with your own eyes if you come and join us on a LeSEA Tour to the Holy Land! Check out: www.leseatours.com for more information.
Have a great day!
Middle East Correspondent