Uncovering the History of Ancient Jerusalem’s Water Supply—and the Beginnings of the Revolt against Rome

Recently archaeologists conducted a survey of what is known as the Biyer Aqueduct, a three-mile-long portion of the complex system used in ancient times to get water to the residents of Jerusalem. Nathan Steinmeyer explains what they found:

Throughout its long history, Jerusalem has always had a major problem securing water for its inhabitants. During the Iron Age (1200–586 BCE), the nearby Gihon spring, along with a large reservoir and cisterns, was sufficient to supply the relatively small population. Both Hezekiah’s tunnel and the Siloam Pool were built by King Hezekiah in the 8th century BCE to expand the city’s Iron Age water system.

Towards the end of the Second Temple period, the city’s population grew dramatically, and the Gihon spring was no longer able to provide enough water for the city. It was for this reason that Jerusalem’s aqueduct was built to bring in water from more distant sources. The dating of the aqueduct system, however, has been much debated.

Carbon-14 dating led the team from Hebrew University to suggest that the Biyer Aqueduct was likely constructed during the reign of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate (ca. 26–36 CE). . . . During the survey, the team documented the various methods used in its construction and took several radiocarbon samples from the plastered walls. Analysis of the samples indicates the aqueduct was likely built in the early 1st century CE and was refurbished in the 2nd century, after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. As such, the team suggests that the Biyer Aqueduct could be the same aqueduct attributed to Pilate by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus.

According to Josephus, Pilate used money from the Temple’s treasury to build the aqueduct, which led to riots in the city.

Read more at Bible History Daily

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Jerusalem, Second Temple, Water

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security