Saturday, September 02, 2006

More of Siloam Pool and Street Excavated

Lost in all the Hezbollah mayhem in northern Israel this summer is the progress being made on a key archaeological site in Jerusalem: the excavation of the Siloam Pool area. I saw the area on February 1 of this year, and was impressed with the discovery: the little pool that had been identified as the Pool of Siloam was but a catch basin for the Olympic-sized pool that was found when a leak developed in a sewage line.

More of the area has been cleared in the months since. See the update on the Biblical Archaeological Society's website. The photo above is from the report by Hershel Shanks.

He reports:

After bathing (or purifying) oneself in the Siloam Pool, where Jesus cured the blind man (see “The Siloam Pool,” BAR, September/October 2005), ancient pilgrims could ascend ten steps to a lovely columned plaza that has now been exposed by archaeologists Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The newly discovered plaza leads to a street that is not yet open to the public. Pictures of the street have just been released.

The archaeologists believe this street goes all the way up to the western wall of the Temple Mount, from which the pilgrims ascended to the Temple precincts through gateways on the southern side.

Be sure to read the whole report and check the photos.

The Siloam Pool and street is located in the City of David section of Jerusalem, on the site of the Old Testament city, now outside and to ther southeast of the walled city. Look for more developments from this area. In February, we were told that some working on the site believe that they made have found the walls of the Millo, the Palace of David and the Kings of Judah.

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