Researchers: Ancient Jerusalem Reservoirs Used by Jews Ascending to Second Temple

Israeli archaeologist Dr. Ofer Sion stands on Byzantine-era paving stones as he excavates the 1,500-year-old street on February 10, 2010 in the Old City in Jerusalem, Israel. The Israel Antiquities Authority said that the excavations confirm the accuracy of the famous Madaba map, an ancient mosaic map to be found …
David Silverman/Getty

The Algemeiner reports: JNS.org – The massive ancient reservoirs that remain viewable today in Jerusalem’s Old City had serviced Jews making pilgrimages to the Second Temple some 2,000 years ago, according to a soon-to-be-published research paper.

Jerusalem contains a large number of these ancient pools. A massive cistern named the Pool of Israel — more than 360 feet long, 111 feet wide and 78 feet deep — is situated next to the Temple Mount. The Pool of Hezekiah lies among the houses of the Christian Quarter. Jerusalem residents are also familiar with the Sultan’s Pool, which was converted into an open-air venue for public performances; two pools located on the Church of St. Anne’s property; a deep pool seen on Western Wall tours; and the Shiloah Pool, which was discovered under the City of David.

“While residents of Jerusalem had private wells under their homes and the ruling authorities had aqueducts, another solution was needed for the masses of pilgrims. The visitors used water for drinking, cooking and other day-to-day tasks. Two of the pools were also used for ritual cleansing,” Dr. David Gurevich, an archaeologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who specializes in the holy city’s history during the Second Temple period, told Israel Hayom.

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