(JNS.org) Archeologists have discovered a large public cistern from the First Temple period during excavations adjacent to the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The discovery of the large cistern, which can hold 250 cubic meters of water, sheds new light on the city’s ancient water supply. It shows that the city’s water supply at the time did not rely solely on the Gihon Spring, Jerusalem’s only natural water source.
The cistern’s location also suggests that it could have been used in Temple-related activities. “It is possible that the large cistern found next to the Temple Mount was used in the daily operation of the Temple itself,” archaeologist Tsvika Tsuk said, according to a statement from the Israel Antiquities Authority quoted by the Times of Israel.
The First Temple was built around 950 BCE, according to the biblical record, and destroyed by a Babylonian army in 586 BCE.