> Seminars > Western Wall Tunnel Tours

Quarry and Aqueduct

January 25, 2010 | by

When archaeologists discovered this quarry, they immediately saw that the stones being carved out matched the average size of those of the Western Wall.

Originally, historians believed that the Herodian stones were quarried from Zedekiah's Cave, north of the Old City.

Now, however, excavations have found that Herod's expansion of the Temple Mount area continued much farther north than originally believed. That, plus the discovery of this quarry, led historians to conclude that the majority of the stones of the Western Wall were taken from this area.

The stones were quarried in the following manner:

  • First, they chiselled a small area and put a small piece of wood in the groove.
  • Second, water was poured onto the wood, which caused it to expand and made a further crack in the stone.
  • Third, this process was repeated on four sides; then the stone was carefully rolled to its designated location.
  • Fourth, after the stone was in place, it was carefully dressed by chiselling a border around the boss, which was then smoothed and flattened.

Continuing along, we come to an ancient Hasmonian aqueduct.

The tunnel shifts and turns, bordered by a channel of water-worn bedrock. You run your hand along the smooth rock, which saw centuries and centuries of water flow by. Soon, we come upon a resevoir pool, which is covered by a large stone arch.

The tunnel shifts and turns and, at last, covered by a large stone arch, we come to a reservoir pool.

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