Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hezekiah’s Tunnel Q&A

The Sept/Oct 2008 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review carried an intriguing article that suggested that workers used sound signals from above in determining direction while carving Hezekiah’s Tunnel.  The apparent “consensus” theory that they followed a natural crack always seemed implausible to me, and thus I am interested in learning of other possibilities. 

A number of readers sent questions about the article and one of the scientists of the study responds in an online-only article.  Questions that he answers include:

  • How does Hezekiah’s Tunnel compare with the water tunnels of Megiddo and Hazor?
  • How could sound signals pinpoint direction through more than 100 feet of bedrock?
  • Did water flow uphill from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam?
  • How were the workers supplied with oxygen?
  • Isn’t there really a natural crack that the workers followed?

Ayreh Shimron has some good insights into these and other matters.

Hezekiah's Tunnel, tb110705532 Hezekiah’s Tunnel

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5 Comments:

  • I just want to know why you didn't use the picture of Hezekiah's Tunnel with me in it.
    -Leo

    By Blogger Leo, at Fri Jan 02, 12:11:00 AM  

  • Leo - sorry to cause offense. I just thought viewers would rather see more tunnel and less (of your) face!

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Fri Jan 02, 09:54:00 AM  

  • I think Ayreh Shimron has a good idea here, but I think the matter is far from settled.

    Of course, he defends the theory like he's defending his sister's honor. I don't think he takes the remaining questions seriously enough.

    I know I continue to be amazed at what the ancients were able to do with simple tools and strong backs.

    By Anonymous Al Sandalow, at Sat Jan 03, 01:56:00 PM  

  • Would they really have had a 'good geological hammer,' or whatever his exact words were, in antiquity? I'm ignorant as to what exactly that is, but it sounds rather modern. (That, according to his online article, is what they used to pound from the tunnel to earth and vice versa, to establish location.)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Jan 03, 03:49:00 PM  

  • I have read the article and the comments here and the question I have relates to the statement of water flowing uphill. The natural crack theory might possibly allow for the flow of the water downhill but the sounds listened for on ground level would not allow for the elevation. What is the thinking on this issue.

    By Blogger Chas, at Tue Jan 06, 11:43:00 AM  

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