Newly discovered well reveals Ottoman-era Israel’s ‘sophisticated engineering methods’

 

(JNS.org) Israeli archaeologists this week announced the discovery of a well that is hundreds of years old and illustrates the “sophisticated engineering methods” of Israel’s Ottoman period.

A water reservoir that researchers believe was used to store excess water from a newly discovered Ottoman-era well in Israel. Credit: Assaf Peretz/Israel Antiquities Authority.

According to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), the well, found as part of ongoing work to widen Highway 38 near Ramat Bet Shemesh, is the latest in a series of discoveries along the same highway contributing “to the reconstruction of the ancient landscape in the lower Judean hills.”

“[Highway 38] constitutes a corridor that links the north of Israel with the south, and it was this way during the course of many periods in the country’s history,” said Michal Haber, the excavation’s director on behalf of the IAA. “Throughout the generations, sites, villages, farms and monasteries were built along this artery, and roadside stations prospered between them. We believe that wells such as the one we exposed were installed at various times to meet the needs of the public traveling on the road and the people who resided alongside it. The latter were careful to maintain the wells as an exclusive source of fresh water and by means of sophisticated engineering methods they prevented these sources from drying up.”

Posted on May 30, 2017 .