Yehuda Rapuano

The springhouse at Ein Yael, as it appears today, preserves at least a partial record of alterations made in its structure at some time during its history. Today the water flows along a channel that issues from the rectangular gallery in the lower portion of the photo. (The railing at top protects the mosaics of the villa.) The plastered channel conducts the water downhill, through another extant portion of the gallery (the rest was excavated) and into a small collection pool (see photograph). Above the flat roof of the upper section of the gallery are the remains of a vaulted roof that once covered an originally larger opening to the springhouse, now reduced by having been partially filled in with stones. The once larger, vaulted opening was partially blocked at some time in the spring’s history, probably when the gallery-and-channel system was built. Looking closely at the arch, we see other indications of structural renovations of the springhouse. On the right side, the arch has a smooth curve constructed of specially cut stones; on the left side we see a formless jumble composed of rubble and large stones in secondary use. The spring’s earlier vaulted opening resembles the arched opening from which water flows in the springhouse depicted on the Jerusalem icon.