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Post News

city of David

30-10-2016 | Yael Regev
city of David

img_20161027_094703The City of David is the birthplace of the city of Jerusalem,
the place where King David established his kingdom,
and where the history of the People of Israel was written.
It is within walking distance from the Old City of Jerusalem
and the Western Wall, and is one of the most exciting sites in Israel.
Visitors come from all over the world to see the strongest
physical connection between the stories of the Bible and reality,
the place where the Holy City started. In the year 1004 BCE,
King David conquered the city from the Jebusites and
established his capital here.
It was here where the People of Israel were united under
King David’s rule, here where the Holy Ark was brought forth
and here where the First Temple was built by King Solomon,
King David’s son.
Through the course of history, this part of Jerusalem was destroyed and forgotten.
Today it is one of the most important archeological parks and attractions in the city.
You can’t miss the City of David when visiting Jerusalem.

Royal quarter-area G

img_20161027_093348The stepped wall hillside of area G is the retaining wall
of what many archeologists believe to be the
“Citadel of Zion” mentioned in King David’s conquest
of the city (Samuel II 5:9).
In the middle of the wall, Area G hosts the impressive remains
of a First Temple Period aristocrat’s home known as
“Achiel’s House”, later destroyed along with the Temple
in 586 BCE.  Judean and Babylonian arrowheads that were
found at the scene offer a stark reminder of the destruction
that befell the residents of this area. It was also in this area
that archeologists discovered 51 royal seals inscribed in
ancient Hebrew, including the seal of Gemaryahu Ben Shafan
– the Prophet Jeremiah’s scribe mentioned in the book
of Jeremiah 36:10.

Warren’s shaft

img_20161027_093254In 1867, the archeologist and treasure hunter Captain
Charles Warren uncovered a secret access tunnel that
led from the city, deep into the mountain, meeting a
13-meter shaft descending to the Gihon Spring.
Warren claimed this shaft was the place of the Biblical
“pipe” used in King David’s capture of the city, and was
used by the ancient Jerusalemites to draw their water from
the Gihon Spring.
Recent excavations have revealed that while Warren succeeded
in uncovering a significant portion of the secret system,
unbeknownst to him the secret tunnel continued another
ten meters through what appeared to be a solid rock wall,
leading to the massive Spring House and the true water
compound of the time.
This, in fact, may have been what King David was referring to when he challenged Joab Ben Zuriah
“and David said…he who conquers the Jebusites, grabs the pipe…” (Samuel II 5:8)

Fortification of the Gihon spring

img_20161027_093100In 1995, when the City of David Foundation began construction
of a new visitor’s center above the Gihon Spring, startled
workers uncovered an archeological treasure buried
deep underground.   Construction was immediately halted
in favor of a massive archeological dig. To date, the
excavations have unearthed the remains of a massive
fortressed compound built in the Middle Bronze Period,
close to 3,800 years ago, whose function was to protect a
large pool that collected the diverted waters of the Gihon Spring.
A secret underground tunnel led the inhabitants of Jerusalem
deep into the earth to draw their water from this pool when
the city was under siege. A small shaft uncovered directly over
the source of the Gihon Spring sheds light on the story of the
coronation of the young King Solomon “on the Gihon” as
his mother Bathsheba, Nathan the Prophet and the People of Israel cheered on as recorded in Kings I, 1:38.

Hezekiah’s tunnel

img_20161027_094734When the city was defending itself from the approaching
Assyrian army in the 8th century BCE, King Hezekiah decided
to protect the water by diverting its flow deep into the city
with an impressive tunnel system.  “Hezekiah also plugged
the upper watercourse of the Gihon waters and brought it
straight down to the West side of the City of David.
And Hezekiah prospered in all his works.” (Chronicles II, 32:30).
This engineering feat was accomplished by digging a
1,750-foot (533 meter) tunnel into the mountain.
An ancient stone carving found near the entrance describes
this incredible operation. Today, trekking through Hezekiah’s
Tunnel in knee-high water is a highlight for visitors to Jerusalem.

 

The Siloam pool

img_20161027_092718The small Siloam Pool, to which the waters of the Gihon
flow today, is part of a pool from the Byzantine Era.
Fragments of pillars which can be seen today in the pool,
appear to be remains of the Siloam Church that was built in
this location.  Archeologists believe that during the Second
Temple Era the waters continued to flow south and were
collected in an additional, larger pool.
This pool was discovered during the summer of 2004 and
is continuing to be uncovered today.
During the time of the Second Temple, this pool was about
three square kilometer in size and had wide, central roads
leading to it.  Archeologists believe that this pool was built
upon an older pool dating back to the First Temple Period.
It is to this pool that King Hezekiah diverted the waters of the Gihon.

From the City of David to the Western Wall and other attractions

img_20161027_093448The City of David is an active archeological excavation park.
There is always something new to discover.
From the underground water canal that leads to Temple
Mount and the Western Wall, to touring the oldest Jewish
cemetery in the world on Mount of Olives,
joining an active sifting project of dirt from Temple Mount,
or just enjoying a 3D film about the site.
The City of David offers all of these and other tours with
exports, lectures and courses during vacations and festivities.

 

 

 

For more information check out

http://www.cityofdavid.org.il/en

To reach the City of David from The Post Hostel you can take bus number 1 or 3 to the Western Wall.
Get down one station before the Western Wall close to the City of David.
By foot: you need to cross the Old City to the Western Wall area and exit Dung Gate and turn left
to the area of the City of David.

All photos courtesy of the City of David.

 

 

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