Hershel Shanks

The small changes in direction as the two teams of tunnelers sought to find each other at the meeting point can be seen in the photo, where the tunnel bends back and forth several times over the course of only a few feet. What has remained a mystery is how the tunnelers actually managed to reach that point. Expanding on the ideas of earlier explorers, geologist Dan Gill proposed in BAR over a decade ago that the tunnelers were simply following and enlarging a natural underground stream, or karst. Although widely accepted, Gill’s hypothesis failed to explain several features of Hezekiah’s Tunnel: Why, when the two teams of tunnelers were so near, did they have to struggle to find the other, as the Siloam Inscription and the changes in direction near the meeting point tell us? And why, if they were following an underground stream, did they dig several “false tunnels” in the wrong direction?