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Forty-two years after the discovery of Hezekiah’s tunnel (1880), two boys discovered a Hebrew inscription on the wall near the center of the tunnel.  Analysis of the writing, C-14 dating of the plant life killed by the construction of the tunnel, and dating of the stalactites/stalagmites that grew after the tunnel was constructed all converge at a date of 2700 years before present (~700 BC).  When translated, it became clear that it was written by one of the teams who constructed the tunnel, celebrating its completion as the two teams met in the middle.  The inscription reads:

[…when] (the tunnel) was driven through. And this was the way in which it was cut through: While […] (were) still […] axe(s), each man toward his fellow, and while there were still three cubits to be cut through, [there was heard] the voice of a man calling to his fellows, for there was an overlap in the rock on the right [and on the left]. And when the tunnel was driven through, the quarrymen hewed (the rock), each man toward his fellow, axe against axe; and the water flowed from the spring toward the reservoir for 1200 cubits, and the height of the rock above the head(s) of the quarrymen was 100 cubits.”

The inscription was cut from the wall of the tunnel not long after by looters and broken into fragments.  They were later recovered.  Today it resides in The Archaeological Museum in Istanbul, Turkey.

Significance:

  1. Confirms the Biblical account of Hezekiah’s preparations for an Assyrian siege.
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