Massive Biblical Fortress Unearthed in City of David
With walls that were built from massive stones ranging from 6-10 feet high, the ancient Canaanite-era structure is believed to have been the largest fortress in the Land of Israel, until the time of King Herod.
By Yori Yalon
After 15 years of what was considered one of the most complicated archeological digs ever conducted in Israel, excavation work on the fortifications of the Gihon Spring — a large Canaanite structure dating back to 1,800 B.C.E. — has been unveiled at the City of David National Park outside the Old City of Jerusalem.
The fortifications that guard access to the Gihon Spring – Photo courtesy of City of David
The fortifications of the spring are believed have been the largest fortress in the land of Israel until the Herodian period.
Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa and Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority led the excavation, which progressed slowly because the site remained open to hundreds of thousands of tourists a year.
The fortifications, whose immense walls are seven meters (23 feet) thick and were built using 2-3 meter (7-10 foot) blocks of stone, protect the biblical Gihon Spring. The immense walls isolate access to the water source, leaving only a single westerly approach to the spring.
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