Wednesday, June 12, 2013

City of David

Today we had a quick half-day field trip to the City of David. There are some excavation sites right here in East Jerusalem that date from the time of King David.

This is what archeologists think are the remains of David’s palace.

We also saw some remains of a house that was burned down during the Babylonian invasion. That’s another reminder of how surrounded we are by history here.

The more exciting part of this field trip was walking through Hezekiah’s Tunnel. It was built in the 8th century BC by King Hezekiah so that they would be able to get water during a war with the Assyrians and Sennacharib. If he hadn’t built the tunnel, the Assyrians would have been able to cut off the Israelite’s water supply.

It took maybe half an hour to walk through. There’s water through the whole tunnel, but it was only ankle deep most of the way. We could stand up for a lot of the way, but sometimes you had to completely bend over. It’s not really my thing to trek/wade through caves, but I’m glad I can now say I’ve been through the ancient Hezekiah’s Tunnel.

Exit of the tunnel:

We also saw the Pool of Siloam here, which is where Jesus healed a blind man. The pool is right where you exit the tunnel.

Another fun fact about the City of David is that the excavations there are controversial. The excavations are taking place in East Jerusalem in poor Arab neighborhoods under and around where people live. That annoys Palestinians because A. it’s disruptive and B. it’s proof of an ancient Jewish connection to the Holy Land (okay, that last point is my speculation).

Right now Israel has plans to expand the archeological site (there’s still a lot of history they haven’t been able to excavate yet) and build a park, which would mean tearing down an Arab neighborhood. Of course that’s not going to go over well to destroy people's homes, even if they'll be compensated.

It's a good example of how everything in Jerusalem is political and controversial; even archeology.

1 comment:

  1. interesting!! I thonk Dad would have felt claustrophobic going through the tunnel!