Underground Jerusalem: The excavation of tunnels, channels, and underground spaces in the Historic Basin


The majority of the area of the Old City is densely built. As a result, there are very few open spaces in which archaeological excavations can be undertaken. From a professional standpoint, this situation obligates the responsible authorities to restrict the number of excavations and to focus their attention on preserving and reinforcing existing structures.

However, the political interests that aspire to establish an Israeli presence throughout the Old City, including underneath the Muslim Quarter and in the nearby Palestinian village of Silwan, have fostered the decision that intensive underground excavations must be undertaken in the Historic Basin of Jerusalem, especially in the Old City and in Silwan. These excavations focus on highlighting the Jewish connection to ancient Jerusalem, and creating an underground city that undermines the city above.

From 2007 until today the Israel Antiquities Authority (henceforth: IAA) has focused the bulk of its efforts in the Historic Basin on creating a system of channels, tunnels, and underground spaces. Under the guise of academic excavations, the IAA is preparing the groundwork for tourism with political overtones. Though it is ostensibly engaged in scientific archaeology, the IAA does not provide reliable information regarding the location of excavations, their scope, or their objectives. The majority of this information is only available after-the-fact, in the form of IAA press releases, and not during the course of the excavations themselves as one would expect from a public body working in a city center.

This report aims to provide an updated survey of the underground excavations in the Historic Basin. We suspect other areas are also being excavated in addition to those described here, but we lack reliable information concerning these sites. The excavations underway underground and in the dark are considered as Israeli attempts to undermine Palestinian ownership, and as a means to prevent a political solution in Jerusalem.

Download the report Underground Jerusalem as PDF file pdf

Underground excavation in Jerusalem: From the middle of the nineteenth century until the Six Day War

The intensive interest in channels, underground passages, and tunnels, ancient and modern, goes back one 150 years. At that time the first European archaeologists in Jerusalem, aided by local workers, dug deep into the heart of the Holy City in order to understand its ancient topography and the nature of the structures closest to the Temple Mount.

The British scholar Charles Warren was the first and most important of those who excavated underground Jerusalem. In order to avoid the searching gaze of the Ottoman authorities, Warren dug vertical shafts some distance from the walls of the Temple Mount, and from there continued to excavate in “galleries” — horizontal channels that were dug along the length of the ancient walls. Warren excavated close to the Western Wall, from the area of Robinson’s Arch towards Barclay’s Gate (one of the gates of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif) and even further north, in areas that are included today in the complex of “Western Wall Tunnels.” He uncovered an ancient gate thought to be part of Herod’s Temple (the 1st century BCE) that leads to the Temple Mount itself.[1]

Warren’s excavation project was based on an 1862 map that documented the cisterns and overall water system of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif. In addition to the excavations around the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, Warren and his team also excavated in the nearby village of Silwan, discovering important parts of a water system dated to the biblical Jerusalem. As within the walls of the Old City, the excavations were undertaken deep beneath the ground, far from the prying eyes of the authorities. Among other discoveries, they found shafts, passages, and natural and artificial channels.

As long as the Ottomans ruled Jerusalem, excavations continued using the shafts-and-galleries method. In 1894-1897 archaeologists Frederick Jones Bliss and Archibald Dickie excavated an expansive system of channels and tunnels in the area of Mt. Zion and the Siloam Pool/Barkat al-Hamra. In 1909-1911 a team under the direction of Montague Parker continued to excavate Jerusalem’s ancient water works. The team’s goal was to find a subterranean passage leading from the area of the Gihon spring in Silwan to the heart of the Temple Mount, where they hoped to find treasures from the Temple.[2] Parker and his team explored the Siloam Tunnel and the Warren’s Shaft and excavated new horizontal channels, but they were forced to abandon the excavations after their attempts to bribe Waqf officials and dig under the Temple Mount itself became known.

This series of excavations – undertaken, as mentioned, in secret and through the intentional deception of the authorities – established a Western-scientific narrative that identifies the true Jerusalem with artifacts discovered underground. This narrative sees the residents of the present city as degenerate remnants of the past who conceal its splendid history. At the same time, archaeology became permanently fixed in the eyes of Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents as a tool of imperialism, the only goal of which is to undermine the Islamic presence in Al-Quds and the Haram al-Sharif.

With the development of scientific archaeology, the method of excavating in channels was abandoned. Instead, the central goal of every excavation now became revealing the sequence of historical layers from top to bottom. During the British Mandate and Jordanian rule, the archaeology of Jerusalem emerged from the dark: excavations were undertaken in the open and in the light of day, and the ancient layers were peeled back systematically from the surface on down.

Nonetheless, clandestine underground excavations continue today, though, as we will see in what follows, in a different historical, political, and cultural context.

Tunnel excavations following the Six Day War

After the Six Day War, intensive archeological activity began in the Old City and its surrounding. Among other projects, senior researchers from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem undertook large-scale excavations: Nahman Avigad in the Jewish Quarter, Benjamin Mazar to the west and south of the Temple Mount (in the Ophel), and Yigal Shiloh on the hill of ancient Jerusalem (the City of David). Most of these excavations adhered to accepted, modern standards, and underground systems were examined from the surface down, revealing their access points and their relation to the underlying structures.

But unscientific excavations were also underway alongside these projects: at the initiative of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, an excavation was begun in 1969 of a tunnel along the length of the Western Wall, underneath a built-up residential area of the Muslim Quarter abutting the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif. This excavation continued until the beginning of the 1990s, revealing, among other discoveries, Warren’s Gate–the gate leading to the Temple Mount that lies below the settled layer of today. Despite being undertaken under the auspices of a government ministry, this excavation was considered for years to be a clandestine operation since the Israeli Department of Antiquities and Museums (the body that preceded the IAA) did not grant it a license and did not document the excavation’s finds.

In the first stage of preparing the tunnel, visitors entered and exited through a single opening near the Western Wall plaza. In 1993 the work of extending the Western Wall tunnel to the Via Dolorosa in the Muslim Quarter was completed, though its opening to visitors was delayed until 1996. This was the period of Benjamin Netanyahu’s first premiership, less than a year after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and at the height of the struggle with the Palestinian Authority over the political control of East Jerusalem. Led by then mayor Ehud Olmert, it was decided to open the tunnel’s northern exit on the Via Dolorosa. The opening of the tunnel caused violent protests and gun battles between Israelis and Palestinians throughout the West Bank in which dozens were killed and hundreds injured.[3] With the cessation of confrontations, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation began using the tunnel’s northern exit in order to increase the number of visitors to the Western Wall tunnel. In this way the Western Wall Heritage Foundation expanded the area under its control into the heart of the Muslim Quarter.

Tunnel excavations under archaeological auspices

In the middle of the 1990s the IAA became the central and virtually exclusive organization conducting excavations in the Old City and the Historic Basin. The IAA is responsible for excavations from the Siloam Pool on the slopes of Silwan to Herod’s Gate in the northern wall of the Old City.[4] Most of the excavations were undertaken on the initiative of governmental and non-governmental bodies excluding the IAA.

Regarding the underground excavations, they began, modestly at first, in the area of ‘Ein Umm al-Daraj/the Gihon Spring (discussed in detail below) at the request of settlers from the El’ad Foundation and the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority. However in 2004 the excavation took a turn. On the southern slopes of the City of David archaeological park – located in the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood in Silwan – an ancient pool and the remains of a Roman road leading to the Temple Mount were discovered.[5] At the same time, extensive excavations began at the top of the Tyropoeon Valley under the Ohel Yitzhak synagogue by the Western Wall plaza.[6] For knowledgeable observers, it was clear that these two projects–far away and seemingly separated by the Old City walls and the houses of Wadi Hilweh in Silwan–were in fact connected through the ancient streets and drainage channels that had been discovered underground already in the days of Bliss and Dickie. It seems that the idea of connecting these old finds was already born at that point: connecting them both physically — through the renewed excavation of these old tunnels — and conceptually — by rehabilitating the method of tunnel excavating that had been abandoned long ago.

Beginning in 2004 the IAA joined with ideological groups developing the area of the Western Wall and the City of David, and began to put into action their plan to connect the City of David to the Western Wall through a single underground system. The system includes excavated galleries, ancient drainage channels, and large spaces that were emptied of their contents.

Between 2005 and 2008 the IAA began to dig tunnels both in Silwan[7] and the area of the Western Wall — a tunnel was excavated there connecting the Ohel Yitzhak synagogue to the Western Wall tunnels. In the southern portion of Silwan, parts of the ancient road documented by Bliss and Dickie in the nineteenth century were discovered through lateral excavation in the tunnel.[8] Later, on a level higher than the road and working from above Bliss and Dickie’s tunnels, archaeologists discovered a covered drainage channel, made of stone and taller than an average person. The drainage channel was apparently built under the continuation of the same stepped road dated to the Second Temple period (the Roman period). The channel passes under Wadi Hilweh Street along its entire length and under the nearby houses, continues through the area of the Western Wall excavations (the area of the Davidson Center) in the Old City, and reaches the Western Wall plaza.[9] It is worth noting that the excavations in Silwan are funded by the El’ad Foundation, and they are conducted by the IAA as part of the tourist development of the City of David National Park.

Since 2007, excavations have been taking place within the Western Wall Tunnels and in the spaces that extend westward to HaGai/Al-Wad Street, beneath the residential houses of the Muslim Quarter. Hundreds of square meters are under excavation; the work includes blasting openings in the ancient walls and removing large quantities of fill, only part of which is systematically documented. These excavations also represent a return to the excavation zones of earlier scholars such as Warren, Hamilton, and others.[10] The digs have revealed remains from nearly all the important periods in the history of the city: a large public bath from the Mamluk period (Hammam al-‘Ein), remains from the period of Aelia Capitolina (the name of Jerusalem during the late Roman period), remains from the early Roman period, and more.

Ancient underground complexes

Zedekiah’s Cave

This is an artificial cave covering a quarter of the area of the Muslim Quarter. The entrance to the cave is located outside the walls of the Old City, between Damascus Gate and Herod’s Gate. The site was approved for tourism decades ago, and is under the authority of the East Jerusalem Development Company. In the wake of various development works at the site in recent years, including the construction of toilets and the installation of a water main, the IAA has conducted three salvage excavations since 2000. These excavations revealed walls built during the 12th century CE (the Crusader period), as well as ceramic finds and coins dated from the Byzantine period (the 4th to 7th centuries) to the present day. Nevertheless, it is impossible to establish when the cave was first used.[11]

There are no regular tours at the site, though Israeli tours that are organized there during the summer vacation and Jewish High Holidays stress that the cave served as a quarry for the stones used in the Temple (a theory that cannot be proven). In this way the tours ignore the many other cultures that used this cave for a variety of purposes.[12]

The Ohel Yitzhak Synagogue

In 2004 a salvage excavation began under the building known as the Ohel Yitzhak synagogue, situated at the southern tip of Ha-Gai/Al-Wad Street in the Old City. The excavations included the creation of a tunnel that passes under the houses of the Palestinian residents of the Muslim Quarter, connecting the Western Wall tunnels with the synagogue.[13] Other excavations conducted beneath the area of the synagogue and spreading under the houses of nearby residents to the south and east as well, revealed a vaulted chamber that served as part of a caravansary in the Mamluk period (14th century CE). In addition to these findings, ancient remains were also discovered from the late Roman (1st to 4th century CE), Byzantine (4th to 7th centuries), early Islamic (7th to 11th centuries), and Crusader periods (11th to 13th centuries).[14]

In 2014 a visitors’ center was opened in this area. Despite the undeniable fact that the finds from the Mamluk period represent the central discovery in the complex, the visitors’ center deals only with the history of the Jewish people and their connection to Jerusalem.[15]

Excavations at the entrance to the visitors’ center

In 2011 the IAA conducted an excavation at the entrance to the City of David visitors’ center. The excavation was undertaken on the main road of the village of Silwan, some two meters from Jeremiah’s Cistern. In the excavations two mosaic floors and part of a large structure from the late Roman period (1st to 4th century) were discovered. A similar structure from the same period, which points to the importance of the area at that time, was also discovered in the Givati parking lot opposite the visitors’ center. The archaeological excavation next to the City of David visitors’ center will in the future link underground to the Kedem Center project, to be built over the Givati parking lot excavations. This connection will be the final link necessary to create a tourist route that begins in the Givati parking lot and ends at the Spring House.[16]

The Gihon Spring, Warren’s Shaft, and the Siloam Tunnel

Two ancient underground systems are located below Jerusalem’s ancient hill (the City of David). The better-known system is the Siloam Tunnel. Carved from the rock and stretching for more than 500 meters, the tunnel brings water from the Gihon/Umm al-Daraj spring, located in a channel of the Kidron valley, to the Siloam pool, at the southern tip of Jerusalem’s ancient hill and the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood. The waters of the spring drain from the pool to Al-Bustan neighborhood. The Siloam Tunnel system is made up of a number of hewn tunnels and channels, some of which carry water and others which are dry. Studies conducted in the tunnels date the earliest of them to the Canaanite period (the 18th century BCE — the Middle Bronze Age IIB), and the latest to the days of the Judean monarchy (the 8th century BCE — Iron Age II).[17]

At the middle of the slope between the top of the hill and the Gihon spring, above the tunnel, an apparently natural vertical shaft was discovered in the 19th century that is connected to the system of underground hewn passages. This is Warren’s Shaft. Its dating, purpose, and use in antiquity are the subject of ongoing debate.[18]

Since 1995, over the course of a decade and a half, excavations have been conducted around the Gihon Spring and the ancient systems connected to it.[19] These excavations were conducted in an underground space beneath a residential building and the playground of an adjoining school. Recently the area of excavation has been expanded by means of digging a tunnel from the spring westward, under a stepped path between the houses in the village. The underground excavation connects to a stepped section excavated by the archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon in the 1960s that unearthed impressive remains of fortifications from the Middle Bronze Age.[20]

The Pool of Siloam

In 2004 the remains of an ancient structure were discovered near the southern edge of the City of David and on the northern border of Silwan’s Al-Bustan neighborhood. Sections of this complex were known from the many excavations that had been conducted in the area since the 19th century. The excavators surmised that this pool dates to the first century BCE (the early Roman period), and is the same pool of Siloam from the days of the Second Temple.[21] In order to complete the excavation the area was closed off to village residents, and later became a ticketed tourist site. The complex is presented as the place where Jewish pilgrims would purify themselves before ascending to the Temple to offer their sacrifices. The connection between the Temple period and the site is emphasized both in the posted signage and in the videos produced by the City of David and the IAA.[22] An underground path leads from the spring to the Old City.

Excavations between Warren’s Shaft and the Spring House

In 2013 an opening was made next to the entrance to Warren’s Shaft, and the area was closed to visitors. Immediately afterwards a series of already existing excavations, some of which were designated as archeological digs, were expanded. As a result a chain of excavation sites was created from the Gihon Spring to the entrance to Warren’s Shaft.

It is possible to see this excavation as part of an effort by the El’ad Foundation and the IAA to block the village of Silwan from the north and to separate it from the Old City through the creation of a tourist infrastructure around the ancient sites. This is a significant part of the overall attempt to redefine the area solely as an ancient site, and not as a Palestinian residential neighborhood.[23]

Underground tunnels

In the past several years, a number of tunnels in Silwan and the Old City have been excavated. These tunnels create an underground connection between the most important ancient sites in Silwan and the Old City, and represent a central component of the government’s policy to strengthen the status of Jerusalem as a unified city and as the capital of Israel. This can be seen from the government decision to fund the excavations of the Western Wall tunnels to the tune of tens of millions of shekels, as part of the five year plan for the development of Jerusalem.[24] We can point to a number of important tunnels that were excavated in the last years.

Tunnels inside Silwan

Since 2007 the IAA has undertaken excavations of tunnels connecting the Pool of Siloam/Al-Hamra to the south with the Givati parking lot to the north. The excavation, which passes under the entire length of Wadi Hilweh Street in Silwan, has damaged a number of houses.[25] The excavation follows the path of a street dated to the first century BCE (the Second Temple Period), first documented by the archaeologists Bliss and Dickey in the 19th century.[26] The length of the section that has been discovered is over forty meters.

A covered, stone drainage channel, taller than an average person’s height, was later found in a higher stratum than that of the ancient road. While the question of the dating of the street and the sewage channel remains unresolved, on account of the different layers in which they were found, it is safe to presume that these two elements were built in different periods. However the IAA and the City of David archaeological park present them both as parts of a street constructed in the Second Temple period. They even present the street and the sewage system as parts of the path that pilgrims used to reach the Western Wall Plaza.[27]

Since 2013 another tunnel is under excavation that branches from the middle of the route of the street towards the west. It seems that this excavation follows the route of archaeological digs in the 19th century from Silwan to Mount Zion.[28]

Tunnels connecting Silwan to the Western Wall plaza

Since 2013 the tunnel connecting the Givati parking lot in Silwan to the Davidson Center has been open to the public. This tunnel, excavated by the IAA intermittently until 2012, was funded by the El’ad Foundation. The route of the tunnel passes under the walls of the Ophel and was undertaken as part of the initiative to preserve them. Between 2013 and 2014 excavations continued from the south-west corner of the Western Wall towards the north, in the direction of the Mughrabi Gate. The excavations were conducted inside the drainage channel, and were meant to uncover the foundations of the Western Wall. During the excavations a system of supporting walls and drainage channels was discovered that was built alongside the Western Wall, to the south and west of the Temple Mount.[29]

The excavation of these tunnels creates a unbroken tourist route between the City of David site in Silwan and the Western Wall Plaza. The identification of the Ophel wall with Solomon adds to the efforts to identify archaeological remains in the City of David as being part of King David’s palace.[30]

Tunnel excavations as narrative

The IAA affects an interesting manipulation in its portrayal of the excavations in the Historic Basin. In its response to an appeal to the High Court of Justice by the residents of Wadi Hilweh, the IAA claims that the cleaning of the ancient tunnels beneath the houses of the village is a continuation of the uncovering of long-known tunnels.[31] This argument allows the IAA to emphasize that the tunnels are longstanding, and that its activities do not represent any change in the status quo or danger for the residents’ houses. At the same time, the IAA publishes its finds as new and sensational discoveries.

Another aspect is connected to the mythological status of the pioneers of archeological research in Jerusalem. Despite the fact that some of their conclusions have become outdated, the excavators’ stories, their adventurous spirit, and their boldness and novelty have turned their research and activities into objects of admiration. It is easy to adopt that same narrative, which sees in archaeological activity the bastion of Western science, and in those who oppose it — the symbol of Eastern ignorance. The archaeological myth allows the IAA to ignore the changes in archaeological methods, as well as today’s different social and political reality. In this way, the IAA sees no need to engage with the Palestinian population, to inform them of its activities, or to consult with them.

After the discovery and development of the Roman drainage system, it will be possible to walk on a circular tourist route through underground Jerusalem, the beginning (or end) of which will be in the vicinity of the Western Wall. From the Western Wall it will be possible, though the drainage system or the ancient Roman road, to reach the area of the Givati parking lot, and it is not far from there to the visitors’ center of the City of David. The visitor will enter a network of passages of the Siloam Tunnel and Warren’s Shaft, at the end of which s/he will find her/himself at the Siloam Pool. From there s/he will continue on the underground route to the Herodian pilgrim road, and will return via the ancient drainage channel that ends at the Davidson Center. A tourist following this route is exempt from seeing the reality of contemporary Jerusalem.

This route is intended to create the experience of visiting a different Jerusalem, an imagined city dominated by artifacts from two periods: the Judean monarchy and the time of the Second Temple. These two periods are identified in the Israeli narrative as central in the fashioning of Israeli identity, and in the connection between the land and its people. The end (or the beginning) of the route near the Western Wall emphasizes the intimate connection between underground Jerusalem and the Temple, Judaism’s most holy site. According to the version that is offered to the public, the excavations in the village of Silwan have uncovered a pool, a road, and a drainage and sewage system that are all dated to the 1st century BCE (the time of the Second Temple), and nothing more. These structures allow the visitor to experience the pilgrimage to the Temple at the height of its glory, and even to relive its destruction.

The publicity video that the IAA features on its website presents the connection between the Herodian pilgrimage road in the Western Wall Plaza, the tunnels, and the channels at the foot of the village of Silwan. In this way the area of the Western Wall expands in order to encompass the entire eastern ridge of ancient Jerusalem and the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood. The IAA and its patrons — the settlers of the El’ad Foundation, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, and others — are working hand in glove in order to cheapen both Jewish history and the history of Jerusalem. The entirety of Judaism is compressed into the few short periods of Israeli-Jewish sovereignty in Jerusalem, through a disregard of any period that did not include Jewish political sovereignty and sacrificial offerings. Jerusalem’s history thus loses both its beginnings, in the time before the kingdom of Israel, and its later periods, when it became the Holy City of the Christians and the Muslim Al-Quds. Moreover, the story told about the tunnels serves as a justification for Israeli settlements in the village of Silwan and the Muslim Quarter. The tunnels create an underground Jewish-Israeli city and turn those who rule it, the settlers, into its natural inhabitants, and the Palestinian residents, those divorced from it, into a temporary presence.

Summary and Conclusions

The excavation of tunnels in the heart of the city entails, first and foremost, the exploitation of an ostensibly scientific-archeological project for the sake of literally undermining the lives of those who live above them. As an important part of the recent excavations’ results are based on those of the 19th and 20th centuries, the importance of this work for scholarship is extremely limited. Concealing the true scope of the work, the lack of any scientific justification for them, and the emphasis of the emotional significance for Jews of the findings–all these testify to the use of archaeology as a tool to serve political ends. The underground tunnel system creates another city, ancient and pure, that pretends to represent the true Jerusalem, prior to all conflict and disengaged from it. This underground city makes the existing, mixed city redundant and, in the eyes of the Israeli public, turns Israeli rule over the Historic Basin into a necessity, even at the cost of thwarting any political agreement.

The excavation of archaeological tunnels – one of the hallmarks of Western research in the 19th century – has been resurrected in recent years. However this time the excavations are undertaken not in order to deceive the government, but rather under government auspices — in order to deceive the public. Now, too, metaphysics, adventure, and science are combined to heighten the drama of discovery and to increase the public relations value. The conduct of the Israeli authorities in portraying the archaeological finds in the Historic Basin as national property should be troubling for anyone who sees the city of Jerusalem, its past and its antiquities, as a place that must acknowledge and preserve the delicate and complex fabric of the city and the lives and cultures of peoples within it — in the past, present, and future.

[1] C. Warren, Underground Jerusalem, London: R Bentley, 1876.

[2] N. Shalev-Khalifa, “In search of the Temple Treasures:  the Story of the Parker Expedition in the City of David 1909–1911” Qadmoniot 2 (116), 1999 (in Hebrew).

[3] The death toll from the unrest, which lasted from September 24 to September 27, was 17 Israelis and 70 Palestinians. See the Wikipedia entry “Mehumot minheret ha-kotel” (in Hebrew).

[4] See map Main Archaeological Sites in Jerusalem’s Historical Basin (2015).

[5] R. Reich and E. Shukron, Innovations in Jerusalem Studies 10 (2004), pp. 137–140 (in Hebrew).

[6] H. Barbe and T. Dea’dle, “Jerusalem, Ohel Yizhaq SynagogueHadashot Arkheologiyot 119 (2007).

[7] See the IAA press release “Antiquities Authority’s excavations in the City of David reveal the primary drainage channel of the city,” 10 September, 2007 (in Hebrew).

[8] F. G. Bliss and A. C. Dickie, Excavations at Jerusalem, London, 1898.

[9] N. Hasson, “Digging completed on Tunnel under old City Walls in East Jerusalem,” Haaretz, 25 January, 2011.

[10] A. Onn and Sh. Wexler-Bdolah, “Wilson’s Gate and the Great Bridge in the Days of the Second Temple and in the Roman Period in the light of new Excavations,” Qadmoniot 140 (2011), pp. 109-122 (in Hebrew).

[11] Y. Zelinger, “Jerusalem, ‘Zedekiah’s Cave,’Hadashot Arkheologiyot 119 (2007); Y. Zelinger, “Jerusalem, Zedekiah’s Cave,” Hadashot Arkheologiyot 124 (2012); Y. Zelinger, “Jerusalem, ‘Zedekiah’s Cave,’Hadashot Arkheologiyot 125 (2013).

[12] For more information see earlier Emek Shaveh reports, including Between Holiness and Propaganda: Archaeology and political claims over the Old City of Jerusalem (2011).

[13] N. Shragai, “The Western Wall tunnel has been connected to the ‘Ohel Yitzhak’ compound,” Walla, 6 March, 2008 (in Hebrew).

[14] R. Adler and T. De‘adle, “Jerusalem, the Ohel Yizhaq Synagogue,” Hadashot Arkheologiyot 121 (2009)

[15] For more information on the establishment of the visitor center and how it and the archaeological excavations at the Ohel Yitzhak synagogue have been used to further a political agenda, see Emek Shaveh’s press release.

[16] Y. Mizrachi, “From Silwan to the Temple Mount: Archaeological Excavations as a Means of Control in the Village of Silwan and in Jerusalem’s Old City – Developments in 2012“, Emek Shaveh, 2013.

[17] R. Reich and E. Shukron, “The Date of the Siloam Tunnel Reconsidered,” Tel Aviv 38 (2), 2011 pp. 147-157.

[18] See, for instance: H. Shanks, “Everything You Ever Knew about Jerusalem is Wrong (Well, Almost),” Biblical Archaeology Review 25(6), 1999, pp. 20-29; A. Faust, “Warren’s Shaft: Yes it Really was Used to Draw Water,” Biblical Archaeology Review 29(5), 2003, pp. 70-76.

[19] R. Reich and E. Shukron, “Recent Discoveries in the City of David Excavations, 2008–2010” Qadmoniot 140 (2011), pp. 70–79 (in Hebrew).

[20] K. Kenyon, “Excavations in Jerusalem,” Palestine Exploration Quarterly 98(1), 1966, pp. 73-88.

[21] R. Reich and E. Shukron, “Updates on the Excavations in the Siloam Pool,” the IAA website, n.d. (in Hebrew).

[22] See the City of David video: “Herodian Road From Shiloah Pool to the Western Wall,” 4 November 2010, and the IAA video, “The City of David: Uncovering the Road to the Temple,” 29 July 2012 (in Hebrew).

[23] Y. Mizrachi, “From Silwan to the Temple Mount: Archaeological Excavations as a Means of Control in the Village of Silwan and in Jerusalem’s Old City – Developments in 2012“, Emek Shaveh, 2013.

[24] “The Government has Approved a Series of Decisions Aimed to Strengthen the City of Jerusalem and to Prepare for the Jubilee Anniversary of the Unification of the City,” The Office of the Prime Minister website, 2015 (in Hebrew).

[25] N. Hasson, “Jerusalem’s Time Tunnels,” Haaretz 24 April 2011.

[26] F.J. Bliss and A.C Dickie, Excavations at Jerusalem 1894-1897, London: Palestine Exploration Fund, 1898.

[27] Elad, From the City of David to the Western Wall, City of David website.

[28] F.J. Bliss and A.C Dickie, Excavations at Jerusalem 1894-1897, London: Palestine Exploration Fund, 1898.

[29] M. Hagbi and J. Uziel, “Jerusalem, the Old City, the Western Wall Foundations,” Hadashot Arkheologiyot 127 (2015).

[30] Elad, The Ophel Excavations, City of David website, n.d. (in Hebrew).

[31] High Court of Justice 1308/08, the IAA’s response to the drainage channel in Silwan.

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