[img]http://www.sermonindex.net/images/forum/2004/may/featured_news.gif[/img]JERUSALEM - Israeli and American archaeologists have discovered what they term a "monumental rock-hewn water system" near Jerusalem dating back to the eighth century B.C.The discovery, announced Aug. 9, was made during an eight-week dig at a cave close to Jerusalem, in Ein Kerem, which is regarded as the traditional birthplace of John the Baptist.Last summer, Shimon Gibson, the chief archaeologist at the dig, announced that he had found a cave that may have been used by John the Baptist to anoint his followers.A statement by Gibson and archaeologist James Tabor from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte said that the latest excavations have revealed the cave to be part of "a much larger Iron Age water system, rock-cut in places to a depth of 65 feet."The archaeologists said the cave, which dates back to the time of King Hezekiah (according to pottery shards from that period), contains a vertical shaft, an open horizontal corridor, a flight of stone steps above a tunnel and three external plastered pools, all of which was on the slope above an underground reservoir.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
GregFrom what I have read about the Cave the suggestion that it was used by John Baptist is sheer speculation but, of course, it gets people's attention. As far as I know there is not a single shred of evidence to connect it with John Baptist.The discovered 'water courses' are interesting. Hezekiah's 'conduit' has been pretty well known for some time; this sounds as though it might be more of the same. 2Kings 18:17; 20:20; Is. 7:3; 36:2I suspect that the imagery of this 'secure water supply' was behind Jeremiah's prophecy. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. (Jer. 2:13, KJVS)