Joseph A. Callaway

Cistern with cap still in place. Undisturbed for almost 3,000 years, this bell-shaped cistern clearly shows the strata of rock from which it was carved: thin layers of hard limestone circle the bottom of the cistern; the thick upper layers are soft Senonian chalk. This was one of three interconnected cisterns under two houses in the village of Ai. Its cap was set into the floor of one house, giving the family easy access to an almost inexhaustible water supply.