A story on Netscape.com wrote…
Read 2 Kings 20:20 and 2 Chronicles 32:30 in the Old Testament and you’ll find a reference to a tunnel that was built in 700 B.C. by order of King Hezekiah to protect Jerusalem’s water supply against an Assyrian siege. Long considered an engineering feat for that day and age, the serpentine tunnel ran 1,750 feet long and moved water from the Gihon spring across the entire city of ancient Jerusalem to the pool of Siloam.
Fast forward to modern-day Jerusalem. The Siloam Tunnel in that city matches the biblical description of King Hezekiah’s tunnel. But is it really the same one? That question has stumped scholars for years, many of whom insisted the Siloam Tunnel was built centuries later than the Bible suggested in Kings and Chronicles. The only clue that survived for more than 2,700 years is an inscription discovered in 1880 on a tunnel wall that supported the link to King Hezekiah, although it did not name him specifically, reports The Associated Press.
Now geologists from the Cave Research Center at Hebrew University in Jerusalem think they have solved the mystery. By using radiocarbon testing to analyze the age of stalactite samples from the ceiling of the Siloam Tunnel and plant material recovered from its plaster floor, the biblical record and the tunnel’s age have been confirmed, the researchers wrote in the journal Nature. The Siloam Tunnel is the one built by King Hezekiah.
This is also significant because it is the first time that a well-identified biblical structure has been subjected to extensive radiocarbon dating.
Even with all our modern-day technology and scientific knowledge, very little testing of biblical structures has been done to prove or disprove their age or authenticity. Why? The experts told AP such testing is difficult because it’s often hard to identify such structures, they may be poorly preserved, or they may be restricted for various political or religious reasons.
The Siloam Tunnel is different. It’s long been a tourist attraction. Anyone can wander in it and see the pick marks the original builders made in the walls to adjust their course so the tunnel would meet with a second team of workers who were heading toward them from the opposite end of the city. AP notes that those pick marks tell us how difficult it was to connect the two ends of the tunnel. “The tunnel is extraordinary, but these guys didn’t know where they were going a lot of the time,” Hershel Shanks, an expert on the history of Jerusalem who writes for the Biblical Archaeology Review, told AP. Still, he added, “It’s nice to have scientific confirmation for what the vast majority of biblical scholars and archaeologists believe.”