Descend with me into the depths beneath the City of David, the "original" Jerusalem which now lies outside the city walls. In 701 BC, when threatened by an impending Assyrian siege, King Hezekiah wanted a way to transport water from the Gihon Spring on the northeast side of the city to the Siloam Pool on the southwest. The Gihon Spring is on the hillside above the Kidron Valley, while the City of David is on the crest of the hill; this makes the city with its high walls easily defensible. But it was nearly impossible to build the walls high enough to match the city walls and keep the spring inside the walls, which was quite the problem for the ancient Jerusalemites in case of a seige, since they would have no access to water.
So, Hezekiah decided to dig a tunnel underneath the city to connect the Gihon Springs to the Pool of Siloam, which is within the city walls. He formulated a highly technical plan, which consisted of giving a lot of guys chisels, picks, and shovels; separating them into two teams; and placing one team at the Gihon Springs and one at the Pool of Siloam. Then he told them to start digging.
|You need your headlamp in Hezekiah's Tunnel--it definitely gets a bit dark 40+ feet below the city. (with Danielle and Synthia) Luckily, my body acclimates super quickly, so I turned into a mole, as you can see by my nearly non-existent eyes.|
|I tried to hide in one of the crevices and scare people... it might have worked better had people not been taking pictures... I don't think my bright scarlet jacket helped my camoflauge much, either.|
And many thanks and much love to you wonderful commenters (ahem, Jaynee--you win the prize). I love hearing what you think about these Middle Eastern escapades.