Daily Archives: June 27, 2013

Drainage channel provides evidence of Roman siege of Jerusalem

The Israel Antiquities Authority announced today that “three complete cooking pots and a small ceramic lamp were uncovered in a small cistern in a drainage channel that runs from the Shiloah [Siloam] Pool … to Robinson’s Arch.”

Cooking pots and lamp found in drainage channel near Robinson's Arch, Jerusalem. IAA Photo by Vladimir Naykhin.

Cooking pots and lamp found in a cistern in a drainage channel near Robinson’s Arch, Jerusalem. IAA Photo by Vladimir Naykhin.

According to archaeologist Eli Shukron, “This is the first time we are able to connect archaeological finds with the famine that occurred during the siege of Jerusalem at the time of the Great Revolt. The complete cooking pots and ceramic oil lamp indicate that the people went down into the cistern where they secretly ate the food that was contained in the pots, without anyone seeing them, and this is consistent with the account provided by Josephus.”

The news release sites one of the comments by Josephus in The Jewish War about “the dire hunger that prevailed in the blockaded city.” The suggestion is that some of the people cooked and ate their meals in the drainage system as they were hiding from danger.

The complete news release may be read here.

A portion of the drainage channel that runs from the southwest corner of the Temple Mount to the Pool of Siloam. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

A portion of the drainage channel that runs from the southwest corner of the Temple Mount to the Pool of Siloam. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Read more here about the drainage channel which my group walked through May 7, 2010.

HT: Joseph I. Lauer