BAR 35:03, May/Jun 2009
This Place Is for the Birds
New Testament tower?
Surely one of the most exciting moments in the life of a Biblical archaeologist is finding something that seems to illuminate the Biblical text. The recent discovery of the Siloam Pool where, according to John 9:1–7, Jesus cured a man who had been blind from birth, is certainly one prime example.
Cheek-by-jowl to the newly discovered Siloam Pool at the southern end of the City of David, a 12-acre ridge south of Jerusalem’s Old City, is another find that has been associated with the New Testament: a circle of stones 20 feet in circumference, resting on bedrock. When it was discovered in December 1913 by French archaeologist Raymond Weill, it rose to a height of 5 feet. Today some of the stones have been robbed, but the basic outline is still clear. Weill suggested that the tower was part of a fortification system higher up the slope.