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Cistern 1 Interior

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Cistern 1 Interior
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Photo Comments

View looking down into the interior of one of the two large cisterns.  Note the original staircase that descends from lower right down into the cistern.  Note also, significant portions of the original plaster on the walls of the cistern.

The two cisterns 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.