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Follow the Water!

Follow the Water!

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Published by Kevin Bermeister
Archaeologists suggest the motivation for fortification of the Gihon was to control the water and exclusively benefit the local populations during times of war. New evidence suggests the location of the spring to have been a place of ancient worship.
Archaeologists suggest the motivation for fortification of the Gihon was to control the water and exclusively benefit the local populations during times of war. New evidence suggests the location of the spring to have been a place of ancient worship.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Kevin Bermeister on Dec 12, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/02/2012

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Further detail at:https://www.facebook.com/AncientJerusalem Follow the Water! From the high hills of Hebron water flows downhill through underground natural aquifers, whichduring KingSolomon’sreign wereelevatedabove the ground, to Jerusalem and its Gihon Spring. This proposition relies on an assumption supported byhydrologicalstudy that water from the Hebron region flows underground to supply the spring known as the Gihon. No specifichydrological study of the Gihon’s local water source exists. 
evidence in the Biblical record suggests this water source and its location tohave been spiritually important to the occupants of the region around the City of David. Archaeologists suggest the motivation for fortification was to control the water and exclusivelybenefit the local populations during times of war. New evidence suggests the location of thespring to have been a place of ancient worship. This paper is written to support the view that theprimary purpose of initial fortification was to protect the sanctity of this location. Notwithstanding the source of the water of the Gihon, which will only be important to theanecdotalevidence, the archaeological record at the sites surrounding the spring increasinglysuggest a long span of history and periodic construction by the communities who derived benefitfrom this perpetual water source. Principle to the archaeological evidence are the following features; 1. The springs water exit from the bedrock2. The man made underwater wall diverting the water passage to Shiloh3. The stairwell area presently used to access the spring and bedrock pools4. The Hezekiah channel5. The Canaanite channel6. Warren Shaft system7. The north wall extending from the mezzanine to the upper Gihon rock platform8. The south wall extending from the valley floor to the upper Gihon rock platform9. The upper rock platform bounded by the north and south wall10. The grave marker (matzevah) area south of the south wall
 
 Using the above features we will deduce a theory of settlement and development in a
 
chronology as follows; 1. Calcolithic - Early Bronze I - sparse periodic settlement Before the Present (BP) 4300-37002. Bronze I - sparse settlement first fortification BP 3700 - 34003. Bronze II - sparse periodic settlement BP 3400 - 32004. Bronze III - settlement and further fortification BP 3200 - 30004. Iron Age I - established settlement and construction BP 3000 - 28005. Iron Age II - growth and development BP 2800 - 2400Using the above chronology the development of archaeological evidence is now ordered earliestto latest to support of the theory proposed in this paper; 1. The spring water exit and well from the bedrock - Calcolithic9. The upper rock platform (ridge) bounded by a north and south wall - Calcolithic10. The matzevah area south of the south wall - Bronze I3. The valley floor stairwell presently used to access the spring and bedrock pools - Bronze I8. The south wall extending from the valley floor to the upper Gihon rock platform - Bronze I5. *The Canaanite channel - Bronze III6. *Warren Shaft system - Bronze III7. *The north wall extending from the mezzanine to the upper Gihon rock platform - Bronze III /Iron Age I4. The Hezekiah channel - Iron Age I/II2. The man made wall diverting the water passage to Shiloh - Iron Age II*change of order can be tolerated  A dissertation on the ordering follows; Questions must be asked whether the population density in the region of the Gihon duringthe Calcolithic period caused a demand for water exceeding supply. There is an abundanceof archaeological evidence highlighting the use of wells in the immediate region as well asthe extended region from Hebron to to Ber Sheva, indicating generally water was not inshort supply. In light of regressive population statistics, it may be reasonable to assume thatcompetition for water was limited to areas of high grazing. It is evident in the archaeological evidence, especially in the water flow from the Gihon, littleattempt was made to contain the water until much later in the springs history when in the lateBronze III / Iron Age I and Iron Age II, the natural water flow was channelled. Evidence thereforesuggests the water was sufficient to support settlement and little effort was made, if any, tocontrol the water. Instead in the preceding period it was allowed to naturally flow out of thespring into a well and through the bedrock where it rose in an undulating fashion flowing to thelow point along the Kidron Valley floor.  At some point there became good reason to fortify the area. However, no evidence exists todetermine the exact order in which this fortification took place or the reasons for it. This theoryproposes the area of the upper rock platform south of the south wall section and west of theplatform was the first area to be settled in the late Calcolithic period. Whilst evidence of thissettlement may never be discovered the suggestion is supplemental to the main theory. Evidence presently suggests the southern wall was constructed earlier than its northern wallcounterpart. The conditions of each wall differ significantly, and the construction of the northern

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