View of the entrance into the huge water cistern at Beth Shemesh. A built staircase, on the left side of the image, descends 7 steps and then turns right as it continues into the cistern.
This cistern is cruciform in shape. According to the excavator, this cistern was constructed during the days of the United Monarchy (David and/or Solomon; 1010-930 BC) and went out of use in the early seventh century BC. The excavator estimates that it could hold 57,600 gal. (218,000 l.) of water.
For a brief description of Beth Shemesh and its biblical significance and a map Click Here.