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Discovering the lower Siloam Pool

The Story behind the discovery of the lower Siloam pool

The Pool of Siloam from the Second Temple was destroyed and covered during the Great Revolt of Judea against the Romans in the year 70. The Indication for the dating was reveled by a number of coins discovered on the stones of the patio near the pool to the north, all dating to the days of the Great Revolt against the Romans. The oldest coin is dated with “4 years to the day of the Great Revolt against the Romans Meaning the year of 69. In the years following the destruction winter rains washed alluvial from the hills down to the valley and down the slopes of Mount Zion to the west of the pool, the pool was filled into the silt layers (up to 4 m in some places) until it was covered completely.

The lower Siloam pool (2014)

During a sewer change excavation near the present-day pool by Ir David Foundation workers, In the autumn of 2004, Eli Shukron an Archaeologist (in the Israel Antiquities Authority) excavating near bay, asked to delay the works in order to document and photographs the sewer excavation by the “Israel Nature and Parks Authority” Ori Orbach. During the tractors work Shukron heard a familiar sound he know from year of work and asked the tractor to stop working, he approached the stones and uncovered the first steps, Ronny Reich a Colleague of Eli Shukron, was called to the scene. It became obvious to them that these steps were likely to have been part of the Second Temple period pool.

Eli Shukron an Archaeologist, uncovering the pool during autumn of 2004
Eli Shukron an Archaeologist, uncovering the pool during autumn of 2004

Excavations commenced and confirmed the initial supposition; the find was formally announced on August 9, 2005, and received substantial international media attention.[3][4] The pool is less than 70 yards from the edge of the Byzantine reconstruction of a pool previously thought to be the Pool of Siloam. This small pool collected some of the water as it emptied there at the southern end of Hezekiah’s tunnel. The water continued on through a channel into the recently discovered Pool of Siloam. The source of the water is from the Gihon Spring, located at the northern end of Hezekiah’s tunnel on the eastern side of the City of David. An ancient pool (Upper Pool) existed near the Gihon Spring but was no longer used after King Hezekiah redirected the waters to the western side of the city.

The lower Siloam pool during excavation on 2014