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Arched Bridge excavated near Jerusalem's Sultan's Pool

Israel Government Tourist Office  Midwest Region

Press Release

 

ARCHED BRIDGE EXPOSED NEAR JERUSALEM'S SULTAN'S POOL

 

Jerusalem, Israel - 11 May 2010 - A spectacular arched bridge, part of the aqueduct which carried water to the Temple Mount during the Second Temple period, was recently exposed in an excavation near the Sultan's Pool.

The bridge was built in 1320 AD (in the Mamluke period) by the sultan Nasser al-Din Muhammed Ibn Qalawun, as evidenced by the dedicatory inscription set in it. However, it was apparently constructed to replace an earlier bridge - dating to the Second Temple period - that was part of the original aqueduct. The bridge, nearly 10 feet high, was constructed above the Hinnom Valley in order to maintain the elevation of the route along which water flowed from Bethlehem to the Temple Mount.
Arched Bridge near Sultan's Pool
According to Yehiel Zelinger, Israel Antiquities Authority excavation director: "The bridge, which could still be seen at the end of the nineteenth century and appears in old photographs, was covered over during the twentieth century. We were thrilled when it suddenly reappeared in all its grandeur during the course of the archaeological excavations."
 
The Israel Antiquities Authority, in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority, is working to expose the entire length of the arched bridge, conserve it and integrate it in the framework of the overall development of the Sultan's Pool. This integration will increase understanding of the methods of water supply to Jerusalem in ancient times.
 
Most tourists and locals are familiar with the Sultan's Pool as a venue for the annual International Hutzot Hayotzer Arts and Crafts Fair (held every August) and other cultural events and concerts. However, for hundreds of years it was one of the city's most important water reservoirs.

Photo credit: Israel Ministry of Tourism

 
 

 

 

 

 

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