Archaeological digs in Jerusalem have uncovered a famous site unseen for more than 2,000 years, where Jesus Christ is said to have healed a blind man.
For more than two millennia, the Pond or basin of Siloam, a biblical site popular with Christians and Jews, has been hidden. It was destroyed after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and over time it was covered with sediment caused by winter rains.
By chance, part of the site was revealed in 2004, when infrastructure work carried out by the Hagihon water company revealed some of its steps. In recent weeks, archaeologists have made significant progress in the excavation, uncovering approximately eight steps leading down into the pond.
According to the Gospel of John in the Bible, in the ninth chapter of the New Testament book, Jesus makes mud with his saliva and spreads it on the eyes of the blind man. SO He orders the man to go and wash in the pool of Siloamand the man returns with his sight miraculously restored.
The pool of Siloam is a archaeological and historical monument located in the southern area of the City of David. Estimated to be around 2,700 years old, it covered more than 5,058 square meters and was built in several stages, during the reign of Hezekiah (716-687 BC), as cited in the Bible in the Book of Kings II, 20:20. The pond was part of Jerusalem’s water supply system.
According to reports from the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Israel National Parks Authority and the City of David Foundation, earlier this year The Pool of Siloam will be open to the public for the first time 2,000 years from now, in the near future.
Credit: City of David Foundation
It is not yet clear whether a small portion of the site will be opened first, allowing the public to view the excavation process, or whether it will be opened all at once once the work is completed.
Importance of place
Artistic representation of the pool of Siloam. Credit: Shalom Kveller and City of David Archives.
This site has great historical importance. Before the time of King David, it was for centuries the most important city of ancient Israel and was also the site of the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant, being also a cultural, religious and political center.
“It is here that Israel raised the Tabernacle and here also dwelt the Ark of the Covenant before being placed in the Temple of Jerusalem in the time of Solomon,” explained the Dr. Scott Striplinghead of archaeological excavations.
Ze’ev Orenstein, director of international affairs at the City of David Foundation, said archaeologists will continue to work on the restoration and conservation of the site, so that in a few years, visitors will be able to directly appreciate this historic site.
References: Fox News/Archaeology.
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