Courtesy Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums

On the last leg of a long winding journey from Solomon’s Pools, the Low Level Aqueduct descends to the Temple Mount, now crowned by the golden Dome of the Rock mosque and the silver domed Al-Aqsa mosque. Israeli archaeologist Amihai Mazar believes that the Hasmoneans built this aqueduct in the first or second century B.C., before the reign of Herod the Great. Mazar says this may be the aqueduct referred to in a passage from the Talmud, which mentions an aqueduct leading to the Temple: “An aqueduct led to it from Etam [a spring near Solomon’s Pools]” (Palestinian Talmud Yoma 31a).

From Hasmonean times until the 19th century, this aqueduct—repaired and rebuilt along the way by Romans, Byzantines, Mameluks and Ottoman Turks—continued to carry water to the Temple Mount.