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Temple and Cistern

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Temple and Cistern
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Photo Comments

View looking down on the Israelite Temple, and in the lower left portion of the image—just outside the temple—a modern staircase leads down into the two cisterns that were in use in the 9th and 8th centuries B.C.

They are approximately 32 ft. [10 m.] deep and together hold about 105,600 gal. [400 cubic meters] of water!

 The chambers are coated with 6 layers of plasters.  They were used during peacetime as well as during sieges.  They were probably filled with rainwater from within the citadel and via an underground channel that led from outside the citadel, under its wall, into the cistern.  Since there are no natural springs in the area, probably water was brought by pack animals, from cisterns in the vicinity—especially the one in the lower Canaanite City, and then poured into the water channel and from there into the cisterns.

For a description of the Arad Israelite Temple Click Here.