Raphael Magnes, courtesy City of David Archaeological Expedition

Warren’s Shaft, named for Charles Warren, who discovered it in 1867, was part of an underground system cut through bedrock that gave safe access from within Jerusalem’s city walls to the water of the Gihon Spring outside the walk. Some scholars have argued that the Jebusites hewed this water system from the rock, before David conquered the city. However, Shiloh found no archaeological evidence to support a pre-Davidic dating. In fact, he learned that some portions of Warren’s Shaft may be natural, not man-made, formations. Cleared of debris by Yigal Shiloh’s excavation team—a dangerous, difficult task—the steep shaft is now accessible to tourists, as it was to water drawers in antiquity. The young people seen here walk down the steps of the inclined tunnel leading to the top of the shaft.