“Guys, we’re under Jerusalem.”

February 20, 2007

The IBEX schedule for Sunday and Monday of this week said, “FIELD EXCAVATIONS.”

Each semester, IBEX students devote two days to volunteering on some sort of achaeological dig in Israel. This time, we worked in the City of David near the Pool of Siloam.

Archaeologist recently found and began excavating an ancient road that appears to have been built in the late Second Temple period (shortly before the destruction of 70 A.D.) Apparently, the road goes up from the Pool of Siloam all the way to the Temple Mount, where you can also see remains of the road. We assisted this project–mainly by moving lots and lots of dirt.

For most of both days, our group stretched out into a line across the Pool and passed dirt down the line to a truck. That may not sound exciting, but let me offer you a few reasons why it was: 1) Even though you’re passing heavy bags of dirt, you’re doing it with one of the most enjoyable groups of people ever assembled, 2) You’re standing in the POOL OF SILOAM! Ever read John 9? 3) How many people can say they have excavated in Jerusalem?

On the second day, we actually did get to work more inside the tunnel where they are excavating the road–even digging up dirt and uncovering the actual steps. By they way, the edges of the steps are still pretty sharp, so it appears the road was not in use for that long before the destruction of 70 A.D.

However, the highlight of the two days of excavation came on the first day. A few of us went into the tunnel to see the road, and we saw that they had also found another, smaller tunnel under the road that apparently served as some sort of drainage system. So Todd (our Land and Bible prof), Casey, Michelle, Gracie, and I climbed in and crawled up the tunnel. This tunnel extended even farther than the one the diggers were excavating. By the time we reached the end, the air was thin, and it actually got a little warm. At this point, Todd turned around and said, “Guys, we’re under Jerusalem.”

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This pic is a bit blurry, but you can see Todd and Michelle and this ancient drainage tunnel. Above Todd’s head, you can see the bottom of one of the paving stones of the road. Things were pretty intense down there. We could hear the sounds of the digging and see a little bit of dust fall from the ceiling. Todd also said, “You know, this whole thing could fall, and we could all die.” But overall, that was just an exciting part of two great days of field excavations.

What’s next?

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4 Responses to ““Guys, we’re under Jerusalem.””

  1. Steve said

    Don’t die, Ben… if you do, who an I going to hang out with this summer?

  2. Whit said

    I love that I get to experience these amazing things with you!!! YEAH EGYPT HERE WE COME!

  3. Bill said

    Ben!

    Sounds like a legit day! Did scenes from “The Great Escape” go through your head?

    Love ya!

  4. Dude,

    Sounds like a sweet time in Jerusalem. Keep us updated.

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