The Water System

The Water System (HM17FU)

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N 31° 46.387', E 35° 14.176'

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(Warren's Shaft)

— Into the Depths of the Earth Through the Ancient Water System —

"And David said on that day: 'Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites, and getteth up to the gutter...'" (II Samuel 5:8)

We are standing at the entrance to a subterranean water system. The Gihon Spring was Jerusalem's main water source from the city's earliest days. However, the spring's location near the bottom of the eastern slope forced the city's builders to leave it outside the city walls and to create a protected passageway that led to the water source.

In the fall of 1867, British explorer Charles Warren climbed from the Gihon Spring up a vertical shaft that is over 13 meters high. From the top of the shaft, he continued up a tunnel that led into the city. For many years, Warren's Shaft, as it became known, was considered the main component of the ancient water system from which the inhabitants drew spring water when under siege. Some scholars even identified it with the "gutter" ostensibly used by David's soldiers to infiltrate Jebus. However, new excavations, conducted by Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron since 1995, have changed our understanding of the system, the Canaanite inhabitants of the city (in the 18th century BCE) created a rock-cut pool surrounded by fortifications to which they channeled part of the spring's water. The underground tunnel that we are about to enter led to the vicinity of the pool.

About 1,000 years later (in the eighth century BCE), during the reign of the kings of Judah, the tunnel floor was lowered and a natural shaft, 'Warren's Shaft' was discovered.
HM NumberHM17FU
Series This marker is part of the City of David Tour series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 4th, 2014 at 12:36pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)36R E 711769 N 3517464
Decimal Degrees31.77311667, 35.23626667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 46.387', E 35° 14.176'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 46' 23.22" N, 35° 14' 10.56" E
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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