The find, which is part of Israel’s City of David National Park, will be presented to the public the following week, according to the announcement. Image courtesy of Reuters
Given the lack of comparable biblical artifacts or clear links to an ancient Jewish temple and palace that once stood nearby, a network of hewn rock conduits nearly three millennia old unearthed in Jerusalem has left archaeologists perplexed. .
The 2,800-year-old, knee-deep canals lie outside the walled Old City of Jerusalem. They were found in two groups, each spaced 10 meters (30 feet) apart.
The Israel Antiquities Authority reported that forensic examination of the canals revealed no trace of blood, ruling out involvement in the killing of animals intended for banquets or religious sacrifices.
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The authority’s study partner said the pipes do not appear to have been designed with one-way flow or end in a basin, indicating they were not intended to drain water rain or sewage.
“We examined the facility and realized we had stumbled upon something unique,” archaeologist Yiftah Shalev said in a joint statement, calling the find a “mystery.”
The canals may have been used to brew a commodity “related to the temple or palace economy,” archaeologist Yuval Gadot said in the statement.
“Linen production, for example, requires prolonged soaking of linen to soften it. Another possibility is that the canals contained dates which were heated by the sun to produce silan (date honey),” Gadot said.
The find, which is part of Israel’s City of David National Park, will be on public display the following week, according to the announcement.
(With agency contributions)