|1925 R.A.F. reconnaissance photo over City of David.|
How did life, development and water use evolve from the "very early date" these "notables" were buried on the mountain ridge? We have ample evidence of the embedded bedrock implements that were used for processing food or worship, the cave dwellings carved into rock, quarried bedrock structures and foundations that supported stone houses and walls. However, we must find the main route and the way water was transported from the Gihon Spring or we will not understand how 1000-2000 people began to live on the ridge of the mountain.
Occupation was initially clustered close to or at the level of the Gihon Spring. Moving heavy water from the spring up mountain slope would have required substantial effort. The steep grade of the eastern slope rises 50 vertical meters from the Gihon Spring @634m to Field 9 starting @680m above sea level and within a walking distance of 100 meters from the Kidron Valley floor. Enterprising solutions must have been required to service populations once settlement moved above 650 meters. (Sea level heights are indicated in the image above.) To resolve this problem a King, attributed to the Emorites, Jebusites or one of the seven Canaanite tribes, during the period circa 1800-1700 B.C.E ordered work to expand an east sloping, natural underground tunnel that once ran from around @660m toward the Gihon Spring and Kidron Valley below.
In the video below Ronny Reich explains this underground tunnel now known as a water system or the Warrens Shaft System. There are several important points to note: 1. The iron steps, on which Ronny stands marks the termination of the tunnel and no evidence of steps, at that point has ever been found. Ropes may have hoisted water up the vertical shaft where the iron steps are now built. 2. Ronny indicates the system was used by common people to obtain their daily water, I dispute that, it was used by professional water carriers only. 3. The tunnel route evolved in three stages initially via the natural cave entry-exit to or from the water source immediately north of the double wall fortress and after it was constructed, between the double walls. The final route was more direct through an entry to the tunnel system immediately south of the double walls. These indications support a royal, efficient enterprise that controlled water from the Gihon Spring that had been channeled into the Round Chamber for 'bottling' and distribution.
In a previous article I detailed how the Warrens Shaft System had transformed the sanctity of the ancient bedrock on the lower eastern slope, specifically how it cut the four room worship complex from growing populations on the northern mountain ridge. The water enterprise of the Jeubusites, its capture and continued use by King David, its transformation to industrial zone and food market for the city, by the kings that followed forever changed the ancient character of the eastern slope.