Pool of Siloam

Pool of Siloam (, as the location where Jesus sent a man who had been blind from birth as part of the act of healing him.

A substantial remodeling of the pool was constructed in the 5th century, under Byzantine direction, and is said to have been built at the behest of the Empress Aelia Eudocia. This pool, having been somewhat abandoned and left to ruin, partly survives to the present day; surrounded by a high wall of stones on all sides (except for an arched entrance to Hezekiah's tunnel - which was only rediscovered in the 19th century), the pool is quite small, and has a modestly sized mosque next to (and partly over) it.

The lower pool

Ancient records report that during the Second Temple period, there was also a "lower pool" further down the hill than the original one. In the Autumn of 2004, workers making excavations for a sewer near the present-day pool uncovered stone steps, and almost immediately Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron (prominent archaeologists) were on the scene; it very quickly became obvious to them that these steps were likely to have been part of the Second Temple period pool. Excavation swiftly commenced and confirmed the initial supposition; the find was formally announced on August 9, 2005 and received substantial international media attention. The pool is less than 70 yards from the edge of the Byzantine reconstruction of the "upper pool".

This "lower pool" is not perfectly rectangular, but a soft trapezoid. There are three sets of five steps, two leading to a platform, before the bottom is reached, and it has been suggested that the steps were designed to accommodate various water levels. The pool is stone lined, but underneath there is evidence of an earlier version which was merely plastered (to help it retain water). Coins found within this plaster date from the time of Alexander Jannaeus (104—76 BC), while a separate collection of coins, dating from the time of the Jewish War (AD 66—70), were also found.

A channel leads from the earlier pool (the "upper pool") to feed this later pool. How much of the pool and its surrounding structures were a result of monumental construction by Herod the Great is not yet understood (as of September 2006); nor is the relationship of this pool to the earlier one (i.e., why it was built when the earlier pool already existed). A portion of this pool remains unexcavated, as the land above it is owned by a nearby Greek Orthodox church and is occupied by an orchard known as the King's Garden (compare


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