The Sept/Oct 2008 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review carried an intriguing article that suggested that workers used sound signals from above in determining direction while carving Hezekiah’s Tunnel.  The apparent “consensus” theory that they followed a natural crack always seemed implausible to me, and thus I am interested in learning of other possibilities. 

A number of readers sent questions about the article and one of the scientists of the study responds in an online-only article.  Questions that he answers include:

  • How does Hezekiah’s Tunnel compare with the water tunnels of Megiddo and Hazor?
  • How could sound signals pinpoint direction through more than 100 feet of bedrock?
  • Did water flow uphill from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam?
  • How were the workers supplied with oxygen?
  • Isn’t there really a natural crack that the workers followed?

Ayreh Shimron has some good insights into these and other matters.

Hezekiah's Tunnel, tb110705532 Hezekiah’s Tunnel

While reviewing the BiblePlaces Blog for posts of the best discoveries, I made a few notes about what I consider to be the best analysis pieces of the year. 

Nebi Samwil is not Mizpah – the archaeologist of Nebi Samwil wants a biblical name for his site, but he has to inflate his own (archaeological) evidence and ignore other (biblical) evidence to make the identification.

60 Minutes on the James Ossuary – unfortunately people on scholarly lists are still citing this CBS report as if it were in any way credible.

The Qeiyafa ostracon – an explanation of the inscription’s potential significance, before much had been revealed by the archaeologists.

Qeiyafa – I wrote many posts on this site, including why it may be Ephes-dammim, but surely is not Shaaraim or Gob.  I’m preparing an article for publication which has some intriguing new ideas.

Views That Have Vanished – not an analysis piece, but a helpful contribution to those who study and teach about the biblical lands.  These 700 photos taken by David Bivin while he lived in Jerusalem in the 1960s contain some real gems.  I finished four years of work in preparing the CD collection for its October release.