Thursday, 5 December 2013

hezekiah's tunnel

Regarding Recent Suggestions Redating the Siloam Tunnel

A web-exclusive discussion by Aren Maeir and Jeffrey Chadwick

An article published in the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (the research journal widely known as BASOR) proposed a new understanding and dating of Jerusalem’s famous Siloam Tunnel, perhaps better known as “Hezekiah’s Tunnel.”
The Siloam Tunnel.
The study by geologists Amihai Sneh, Eyal Shalev and Ram Weinberger, all with the Geological Survey of Israel, was titled “The Why, How, and When of the Siloam Tunnel Reevaluated.”1 Having examined the ancient water tunnel, the three authors suggest that it was excavated following existing karstic cavities (hollows that form through the dissolution of natural bedrock by mildly acidic ground waters). An important statement made in the article is that it would have taken the ancient workmen about four years to dig the 533-meter tunnel.
In a surprising departure from prevailing thought, the authors assert that the water tunnel could not have been constructed during the reign of Hezekiah, king of Judah, in the late eighth century B.C.E., and particularly not in preparation for the Assyrian attack on Judah in 701 B.C.E. According to their understanding, there was not enough time to quarry out the impressive water system during Hezekiah’s preparations for the Assyrian onslaught. Accordingly, they suggest that the Siloam Tunnel was constructed later, in the seventh century B.C.E., by Hezekiah’s son Manasseh. 2
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house in shephelah

Eshtaol Excavations Reveal the Oldest House in the Shephelah

Bible and archaeology news

The Eshtaol excavations uncovered this 10,000 year old house, the oldest known domestic structure in the Shephelah. Credit: Dr. Ya‘akov Vardi, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) excavations at Eshtaol recently uncovered the remains of a 10,000-year-old house in the Judean Shephelah, the lowland west of Jerusalem, as well as a later cult site, stone axes and other Neolithic remains. The excavations, which were conducted before a proposed Israeli highway expansion, revealed several stages of the millennia-long narrative of early cultural development at Eshtaol, a site associated with the birth and burial of Samson in the Biblical period (Judges 13:25; 16:31).
In an IAA press statement, archaeologists Amir Golani, Ya‘akov Vardi, Benyamin Storchan and Ron Be’eri describe the significance of the 10,000-year-old domestic building (pictured to the right), which dates to the transitional Pre-Pottery Neolithic period. “It should be emphasized that whoever built the house did something that was totally innovative because up until this period man migrated from place to place in search of food. Here we have evidence of man’s transition to permanent dwellings and that in fact is the beginning of the domestication of animals and plants; instead of searching out wild sheep, ancient man started raising them near the house.”
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