Sunday, May 29, 2011

Introduction to the 2011 Gezer Water System Dig

Dr. Daniel Warner

This is our second season at Tel Gezer clearing the ancient water system located just about in the center of the site. Our goal of the first season (2010) was to reach the sources of the water at the end of this 145 ft. long tunnel dug by whom we believe to be the Canaanites. This was not accomplished so we are continuing the probe this summer to reach this objective. What we have done is expose for the first time some of the characteristics of this remarkable water system which have not been seen since Macalister (early 1900’s) and then only him and a few choice workers. What we were able to expose last year was a second mantel spreading most of the width of the vaulted roof which was described by Macalister somewhat and pictured in a line drawing. Below this mantel or ledge, are a series of ribbed like features in the ceiling of the vaulted roof. They seem to continue down to the entire length of the water shaft after the second mantel. The exact purpose for this ribbing is yet to be determined.  Our goal them is to continue our probe and see if we can reach the source of the water and a large cavern associated with it too better understand the  engineering mechanics of the ancient inhabitants many thousands  of years ago.


The Gezer Water System project is co-sponsored by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary under the direction of Tsvika Tsuk, chief archaeologist at INPA, and Dan Warner, co-director of the Center for Archaeological Research at NOBTS.

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