Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Walking through the Herodian sewer in Jerusalem

Walking through the Herodian sewer in Jerusalem | Ritmeyer Archaeological Design
http://www.ritmeyer.com/2011/11/16/walking-through-the-herodian-sewer-in-jerusalem/

In the previous post we mentioned the opening of the Herodian sewer in Jerusalem. One can now walk underground from the Siloam Pool to the Temple Mount. Last week, we were one of the first groups to walk through this drain/sewer, that collected the rain water that fell on the street and drained the sewage from the adjacent buildings. Here is a photographic record of the tour:

From the Siloam Pool one first walks on the Herodian street itself, while later on one walks through the sewer that was built below the street. Photo: © Leen Ritmeyer

At the entrance to the underground sewer is a reconstruction painting that shows what the Herodian street would have looked like. The drain ran below this street.

This picture shows the excellent preservation of the drain. It also brings to mind that here many Jewish people, who were trying to flee the city in 70 AD, were killed by the Roman soldiers. Photo: © Leen Ritmeyer

The sewer passes by the southwest corner of the Temple Mount. Here we see the lowest courses that were built on the bedrock. The bosses of the ashlars were left unfinished as they were never intended to be seen above ground. Photo: © Leen Ritmeyer

Just below Robinson's Arch a fallen arch stone, that must have crashed down during the construction of Robinson's Arch, is wedged in between the two side walls of the drain. The clearing of the sewer is still continuing. Photo: © Leen Ritmeyer

This part of the drain was already discovered by Warren and his team in the 1860's. The fallen arch stone in this painting is the same one you see in the picture above.

This painting shows Sergeant Birtles, who worked with Warren in the 1860's, going down from below Robinson's Arch into the drain in between the fallen Herodian stones. The modern exit follows the same route.

Warren's drawing showing the relationship between Robinson's Arch and the drain below.

At the end of the tour one exits onto the Herodian street below Robinson's Arch. Photo: © Leen Ritmeyer