See Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron, “Light at the End of the Tunnel,” BAR 25:01.


Aryeh Shimron, “Warren’s Shaft: No, It Really Was Not Used to Draw Water,” BAR 30:04.



For that matter, Shimron simply pointed out that the chisel marks show that the lower tunnel was dug from both sides. This is a known fact (see p. 75 and notes 8, 9 of my original article). Repeating this is not a substitute to an understanding of the entire system. The chisel marks do not prove how it was dug; they represent only the last phase of the work, probably when the tunnel was enlarged. And this was indeed done from both sides. The original tunneling, however, was probably done from the spring downward to the shaft. Furthermore, anyone who visits the “cave” below the shaft will notice that it is not nicely worked (to say the least), and is very different from most of the tunnel that connects it to the spring. Clearly, if done in one act we would have expected all parts to be constructed in a similar fashion. The difference clearly shows that there were several stages in the tunneling (no matter how much time separated the various stages), and the chisel marks reflect only the final stage.


See Amihai Mazar, “Jerusalem’s Water Supply in the First Temple Period,” in Shmuel Ahituv and Benjamin Mazar, eds., The History of Jerusalem: The Biblical Period (Jerusalem: Yad Ben Zvi, 2000), p. 197 (Hebrew). The actual flow varies greatly, from about 700 to 4,750 cubic meters per day, depending on annual precipitation; Alon De Groot, “Water Systems in Jerusalem in the First Temple Period,” in Donald Amit and Rivka Gonen, eds., Jerusalem in the Time of the First Temple (Jerusalem: Yad Ben Zvi, 1991), p. 124 (Hebrew).


Apparently all scholars agree that the bottom of the shaft was low enough for some water to be collected in it—after all, the common perception of the shaft’s function until Reich’s and Shukron’s discoveries was based on this premise. Furthermore, Reich and Shukron remeasured the shaft and explicitly claim that water was collected at its bottom. The debate was only whether water was actually drawn or not (for this, see my original article).


Faust also argues that “the current wall [separating Warren’s Shaft] is no earlier than Hezekiah’s Tunnel.”


Shimron finds this exchange “murky.” This is astonishing, to say the least. Shimron concluded his original response to my paper, and for no apparent reason, by questioning whether I even visited the site, and suggested that I might therefore join “the many other armchair theoreticians who have unsuccessfully attempted to unravel the secrets of ancient Jerusalem’s underground waterworks.” I don’t know what led Shimron to raise such ridiculous allegations, but after throwing mud into what was an academic discussion, his self-righteousness is absurd.


And he continues to misrepresent my views: Shimron, for some reason, repeatedly claims (twice in his final response and once in his original one) that I base my argument entirely on Vincent’s description. One can but wonder why?


See my reply to him earlier, which he didn’t address. I should reitirate that I brought up this issue in my original paper only to claim that if water couldn’t have been raised through the shaft, it was clearly impossible to raise stones (see pp. 74–76 of my original paper). As we will see, it doesn’t really matter how it was dug.


That water flow to the bottom of the shaft is not only a result of old measurements. Reich and Shukron (1999, p. 33) have now remeasured the shaft, and explicitly claim that water was collected at its bottom. (They only suggested that the level “was not deep enough to allow a bucket dropped from above to sink conveniently into the water and be filled”—a claim for which I explained the function of the damming walls. The debate, therefore, was only whether water was actually drawn or not!) Contrary to his claim, however, it is clear that Shimron does not follow in Reich and Shukron’s footsteps.


Or unless there was a wall that disconnected the two even before the construction of Hezekiah’s Tunnel, but even Shimron did not raise such a speculation.