Curiosities About “Hezekiah’s Tunnel”

In a recent paper, summarized by Tom Powers here, Ronny Reich points out that the latest pottery found in fill of the building in the “Round Chamber” in the “Rock-Cut pool” at the beginning of “Tunnel IV” (the beginning of Hezekiah’s tunnel when it was being built, not the present-day beginning, Tunnel VI, which was made during the last stage of the tunnel’s construction) is Iron IIA, not, as should be expected, Iron IIB. As for whether or not the present-day Siloam Pool was built during the Revolt, the key text here is Isaiah 22, which dates the beginning of the preparation for the Assyrian revolt to the fall of what is obviously Babylon (see v. 8), which fell in 703 BC, giving Hezekiah over a year to prepare. Verse 11 clearly implies the Siloam pool was cut during the preparations for the Revolt, since it contrasts the Old Pool (Reich’s “Rock Cut Pool”) with a reservoir built “between the two walls”, clearly the walls of the City of David, or, possibly, Jerusalem itself. One should also note the first fortifications in the City of David had fills below them dating to the Iron IIB, making any early 8th/late 9th century Siloam Pool needless.

In short, biblical testimony is far too great to consider the possibility the fact the last pottery in the building in the rock-cut pool is Iron IIA is anything but a coincidence.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

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