There are two new and interesting news items on the Gezer Water system (one link serves both). Here’s a sample,
Gezer Water System Expedition, a joint project of NOBTS [New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary] and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, requires a different, more physical approach in excavating an ancient water system that could date to the time of Abraham.
Because the massive tunnel, cut by the Canaanites by hand using flint tools, was excavated by Irish archaeologist R.A.S. Macalister from 1906-08, the New Orleans team did not sift the dirt during the first two dig seasons.
The massive water system measures 13 feet wide by 24 feet high and stretches 150 feet into the ground at a 38-degree angle. When NOBTS started the dig, nearly 65 percent of the tunnel was filled with dirt. During his dig 100 years ago, Macalister built a rock retaining wall to hold back the debris he removed. The wall, located near the mouth of the tunnel, collapsed after heavy rains in 1908 sending tons of rocks and dirt back into the water system. Over the years more dirt and debris has collected in the tunnel.
In large part because I worked three seasons at Gezer in the early ‘70s and walked past the water system every working day for one of those seasons, I find all this abnormally interesting. I do wonder why, (well, I know why) the report says, “could date to the time of Abraham.” Anytime one reads “could” or the like and a biblical personal name in the same sentence it should be a strong warning that one of the goals of the piece is to tie some ancient artifact to something in the Bible even if there is no reason for such a connection. Let me be clear, from a technical point of view I think the recent ongoing excavations at Gezer are top notch. It’s the public reporting on those excavations that makes me twitch.
Via Bible Places