Archaeologists in Israel have made a remarkable discovery during excavations in the Givati Parking Lot within the City of David National Park. The find consists of two ancient channel installations that date back approximately 2,800 years to the time of kings Joash and Amaziah. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and Tel Aviv University jointly announced this groundbreaking discovery.
These channels are positioned about 20 meters apart, but their exact purpose remains a mystery. Dr. Yiftah Shalev, a senior researcher at the IAA, suggests that they may not have been designed for drainage, as they do not lead to a large drainage basin, and their flow direction varies. Instead, they might have been used to soak various products. For instance, they could have been employed in the production of linen, a process that involves softening flax by soaking it. Alternatively, these channels might have held dates left out to be heated by the sun, a method used to produce date honey (silan), similar to installations found in distant places like Oman, Bahrain, and Iran.
Professor Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv University points out that the central location of these channels near prominent areas of the city suggests that the products made using them were linked to the economy of the temple or palace. In ancient times, ritual activities often involved bringing agricultural products to the temple, imbuing them with a sacred significance. This connection to temple activities raises questions about whether these channels played a role in such rituals.
The Bible references the use of "fine linen" in the construction of the temple, which adds to the intrigue surrounding these channels. However, until further investigation is carried out, their precise function remains an unsolved puzzle. Nonetheless, this discovery offers valuable insights into the early history of Jerusalem during the Davidic dynasty.
IAA director Eli Eskosido emphasizes the significance of these excavations in the City of David, which provide a unique window into the time of the Judahite kings. The area's vast archaeological potential is revealed through these surprising and enigmatic finds, as they challenge researchers and generate keen interest. As further research and analysis are conducted, the hope is to uncover more details about the origin and purpose of these mysterious channels, shedding light on the rich history of this ancient city.